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 J. H. Wade  (1811 - 1890)

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Lived/Active: Ohio      Known for: itinerant portrait painting, daguerreotype

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
One of Cleveland’s early art benefactors, Jeptha Homer Wade was born in Romulus, Seneca County, New York, August 11, 1811.  He received instruction during the early 1830’s from the portrait painter Randall Palmer.  He was married to Rebecca Facer in 1832. 

After her early death in 1835, he led a semi-itinerant life, painting portraits in New York and possibly Louisiana.  About 1840, while in Adrian, Michigan, he branched out into the new field of Daguerreotyping and, in 1846 established a studio in Milan, Ohio.  After his studio was destroyed by fire only a year later, he jumped into the burgeoning field of telegraphy and eventually became president of Western Union. 

After his retirement he devoted much of his life to Cleveland’s social and cultural improvement.  From 1881 to 1886, he was president of the Cleveland Academy of Art, part of the Cleveland Art Club.  In 1882 he donated to the city a large tract of land, now called Wade Park, where the Cleveland Museum of Art stands. 

He died in Cleveland, August 9, 1890. 

Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, Art Researcher of Lansing, Michigan.

Mary S. Haverstock, Timeline, Ohio Historical Society, March – June 2003; Haverstock, Mary S., Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900, Kent State University Press, 2000.

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