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 Hugh Bolton Jones  (1848 - 1927)

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Lived/Active: New York/Maryland/Massachusetts / France      Known for: pastoral landscape, genre and coastal painting, woodcarving

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from Auction House Records.
Brook in Autumn
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Roughton Galleries,Inc:
H. Bolton Jones was an award winning landscape artist of the late nineteenth century, whose paintings of pastoral scenes were widely exhibited in the United States around the turn of the century.

Born in 1848 in Baltimore, Jones began his formal studies at the Maryland Institute. In 1865, he studied under Horace W. Robbins in New York City, and two years later exhibited at the National Academy of Design.

From 1865 to 1876, Jones painted many landscapes of well-known scenes of the Eastern United States, from Maryland and West Virginia north to the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. In style and subject matter, his paintings of this period tend to reflect the dominant influence of the Hudson River School.

In 1876, Jones traveled to Europe with his younger brother, eventually joining former Baltimore acquaintance Thomas Hovenden in the artists' colony at Pont Aven, Brittany. Here he painted his first mature plein-air works, depicting scenes of winter light, as in Edge of the Moor, Brittany, (1877). The painting was acquired by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2001.

In 1880, Jones returned to the United States, where he continued to paint American landscapes in a manner emphasizing the effects of seasonal light or time of day on his rural subjects. He was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1893; he received awards at the Paris Expositions of 1889 and 1900 and the St. Louis Exposition of 1904. He continued to paint until his death in 1927, in New York City.

ASSOCIATIONS

National Academy of Design
National Institute of Arts and Letters

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Brooklyn Museum Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

Biography from Karen L. North, Private Art Dealer:
A Baltimore, Maryland native, Hugh Bolton Jones studied art at the Maryland Institute and in 1865, he studied under Horace W. Robbins in New York.  Between 1865 and 1876, Jones painted landscapes of the Eastern United States in the Hudson River School tradition.  He began exhibiting his work at the National Academy of Design in 1867, and became an associate member of the National Academy in 1893. He was also a member of the American Water Color Society, the National Arts Club and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.  Jones won numerous awards for his work and his paintings are included in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine art.

Between 1876 and 1880, Hugh Bolton Jones and his brother, artist Francis Coates Jones, traveled throughout Europe with their friend and fellow artist, Thomas Hovenden.  Hugh Bolton Jones joined the artists colony in Pont-Aven, Brittany, France where he was influenced by traditional European landscape painting. Many of his works from this time period reflect the Barbizon style and exhibit a tonal color palette and moody effects of light.

One of the paintings completed during his sojourn to France was Winter Landscape with Sunset completed in 1876.  A painting dated 1876 with similar composition and the same size is in the collection of the Maryland Historical Society.  It depicts a man and a woman carrying out their daily labor along the snow covered banks of a river.  A pastel sunset illuminates the sky above.

Hugh Bolton Jones’ maturity as an artist is clear in his dramatic use of light and dark and the subtle way he has rendered the details of the landscape.

Biography from The Columbus Museum of Art, Georgia:
A native of Maryland, H. Bolton Jones rose to prominence as a landscape painter in the late nineteenth century.  He was born in Baltimore in 1854, and began his career with study at the Maryland Institute [now the Maryland Institute College of Art].  He subsequently moved to New York City, where he was exposed to the work of many of the prominent Hudson River School painters.  In 1865, he studied with Horace Wolcott Robbins, Jr., who had just returned from a year of travel with Frederic Edwin Church in Jamaica and the Caribbean.  Two years later Jones had exhibited his paintings at the National Academy of Design.  Jones followed the example of many of his colleagues by traveling around the country painting sketches en plein air.

As Michael Zellman points out, Jones painted many of the traditional landscape motifs that Hudson River School artists depicted in the eastern part of the U.S. from Maryland and West Virginia north to the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts between 1865 and 1876.(1)  In 1876, Jones and his brother Francis Coates began a four-year sojourn to Europe, where he observed traditional French and German landscape paintings.  He joined the artist colony on the North coast of France in Pont-Aven, Brittany.  Other post-Civil War painters frequented this area as well, including genre painter Thomas Hovenden, an acquaintance of Jones.(2) 

Upon his return to the United States, he settled in New York but purchased a summer cottage in South Egremont.  H. Bolton Jones was elected to the Society of American Artists in 1881 and to the National Academy of Design in 1883.  He was also a member of the American Water Color Society, the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the National Arts Club.  He won medals for the paintings he submitted to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893; at the 1889 and 1900 Paris Expositions; at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition and at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.  His paintings are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum.  The artist died in 1927 in New York City.

Jones probably painted Berkshire Mountains (South Egremont, Massachusetts) in the last part of his ten-year East Coast painting excursion preceding European travels.  The composition shows obvious Hudson River School influence in the rendering of brilliant midday light and attention to the natural, botanical details of the scene.  Despite the Barbizon-like rendering of light and shadow, executed with an energetic brushstroke, the painting lacks the ephemeral qualities of sunlight and clouds— along with the injection of staccato stokes of reflected blue—that became the stylistic hallmarks of the next generation of American landscape painters.  In Jones, we see an artist intent on capturing the spectacle of a poetically conceived landscape, largely hidden from human inhabitants.

Footnotes:
1. Michael David Zellman "Hugh Bolton Jones", American Art Analog, Vol. II (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986), 455. We are also indebted to the Smithsonian American Art Museum for assistance in our research.
2. Ibid.
Submitted by the staff of the Columbus Museum, Georgia

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