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 Henry Augustus Ferguson  (1842/45 - 1911)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: tropical landscape, romanticism, architecture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Henry Augustus Ferguson's paintings of tropical vegetation first earned him his artistic reputation.  He would later sell City of Santiago for $10,000., an extremely sizable amount of money in the late 19th century.

Likely born in 1842 in Glens Falls, New York, Ferguson was a landscape painter and highly energetic world traveler, both in years spent and distances covered, exploring exotic motifs for his paintings.  Europe, Mexico, South America, Egypt, were some of his destinations, including the daunting Andes Mountains, which he traveled over a half dozen times.

Ferguson eventually returned to New York City, where he had settled some years before, and there he kept a studio where he did painting and restoration.  Categorized as one of the Hudson River School* painters, he often painted in the White Mountains, the Berkshires and the Hudson River Valley where Glens Falls, his hometown with population of about 10,000 people, was one of his subjects. 

Whether in the American northeast or far-flung locales of the world, Ferguson's romantic, meticulously detailed style was responsive to the mood, character and beauty of the scenes before him.

Interestingly, as a youth, Ferguson received no art training until moving from Glens Falls to Albany, New York in the 1860s.  He studied there with painters Homer D. Martin and George Boughton, and sculptors Launt Thompson and Charles Calverly. When enough time had passed, allowing for the development of a following for his landscapes and architectural paintings, he went to New York City, joining Martin there.

As a mature artist very experienced in his craft, Ferguson was often hired to restore old canvases.  He was a member of the Century Association* and the National Academy of Design*.  His painting, Island of San Francisco in Deserto, Venice, ca. 1900, is in the collection of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine.

Henry Augustus Ferguson died in 1911 in New York City.

Sources include:
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
John Howat, The Hudson River and Its Painters

Note: Henry Ferguson's birth year is alternately listed as 1842 and 1845.  If he was born in 1845, he could have been no older than fifteen when he studied in Glen Falls. "Therefore it seems likely that he was born in 1842." (David Dearinger, Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design, 1826-1925


** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


Henry Ferguson is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Hudson River School Painters
Painted in Latin America

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