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 Eric Hudson  (1868 - 1932)

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Lived/Active: New York/Massachusetts      Known for: harbor scene, fishing activity and nocturne painting

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Elmer Forrest Hudson is primarily known as Eric Hudson

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Eric Hudson
from Auction House Records.
Fishermen, Monhegan
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Marine painter, lithographer*, etcher and photographer Eric Hudson was born with the name Elmer Forrest Hudson in Boston, Massachusetts in 1864. He studied there with Edmund C. Tarbell and Frank Benson at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts*, and he also attended the Academie Julian* in Paris.

His signature work became marine painting, and in 1914, still using the name of Elmer Forrest Hudson, he first exhibited at the National Academy of Design* when he was living in Bronxville, New York. His subject was a boating scene, and in subsequent exhibitions, 1915, 1916 and 1917, he exhibited fishing genre and harbor scenes.

In 1918, he changed his first name from Elmer to Eric, and in 1926, he was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design.

The Atlantic coastline from New York to Maine was Hudson's primary subject with Monhegan Island and Rockport, Maine receiving most of his attention, and in 1921, he established a home at Rockport.  He would later spend his summers in his home on Monhegan Island, Maine, where his daughter, Jacqueline Hudson, also an artist, now resides. A frequent activity was painting the ocean, often in the company of fellow artist Sears Gallagher (1869-1955).

In the 1920s, he still maintained close ties with both Boston and New York City, exhibiting regularly in both places and in New York belonging to the Salmagundi Club*, National Arts Club *and Allied Artists of America*.  In Rockport, he was a member of the North Shore Art Association* and Rockport Art Association and in Gloucester, Massachusetts was active with the North Shore Art Association..

In New York City, he moved from Bronxville in 1922 to the Gramercy Square area, and from 1930 to 1932, the year he died, he lived in the Tenth Street Studio Building*.

Among many awards, Hudson received the Silver Medal in 1926 at the Sesqui-Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

In 2002, the North Shore Arts Association put on an exhibition, "Legacy: the Artistic Families of the North Shore Arts Association", featuring fourteen families that were members of the Association, totaling thirty-six artists including Eric Hudson. An extensive catalog includes stories by the artists and seven essays by offspring about growing up with and learning art from their artist parent.

In 1998, a book of Eric Hudson's photographs, An Eye for the Coast: The Maritime and Monhegan Island Photographs of Eric Hudson, written by Earle G. Shettleworth and William Bunting, was published by Tilbury House, in Gardiner, Maine.

Hudson took many of the pictures from his sloop Minstrel, somehow simultaneously manning the ship, adjusting his tripod and taking the photos. After his death, his glass-plate negatives were held by his daughters Jacqueline and Julie. When the latter died in 1993, Jacqueline gave the plates to Shettleworth to be given to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

Shettleworth and Bunting, a maritime and photographic historian, with the help of Paul T. Stubing, fisherman, boat-builder and artist, identified the boats and Monhegan scenes in Hudson's photographs.

David Dearinger, Editor, Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design, 1826-1925

* For references for these terms and others, see AskART Glossary

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Elmer Hudson is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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