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 John Mackie Falconer  (1820 - 1903)

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Lived/Active: New York / Scotland      Known for: watercolor historic structures in landscape, interior scenes

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Ad Code: 3
John Mackie Falconer
from Auction House Records.
William Penn's House, Philadelphia
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Portrait, landscape and genre painter, John Mackie Falconer was also an enameler and etcher.  He was born in Scotland and emigrated to the US around 1848, settling in New York City.  The artist remained in New York City for the rest of his life and occasionally visited Canada, the Midwest and Virginia on painting trips.

Falconer was known for oil paintings of historic buildings, watercolors, and enamel on porcelain.

Groce & Wallace, The New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America
Peter Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery:

John Mackie Falconer was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and immigrated to America in 1836. He settled in New York City and began work for a hardware company, which he came to control by 1874. Outside of this occupation, Falconer was a passionate amateur artist, widely recognized for etching and painting in watercolor and oil. Active in a number of arts organizations, he was acquainted with many of the noted artists of the day including Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Jasper Cropsey, and William Sidney Mount, whose work, among others, he collected.

An early advocate of working in watercolor, Falconer participated in the New York Society for the Promotion of Painting in Water Colors (1850-1855) and was a founding member of the American Water Color Society. He was involved in several sketch clubs in New York.  In 1848, he exhibited his first work, a watercolor, at the National Academy of Design and was elected an amateur honorary member in 1851.

In 1857, he moved to Brooklyn, where he was active in the Brooklyn Sketch Club and Brooklyn Art Association, and lent considerable support to the association's first exhibition. Falconer retired from business in 1880, sold his art and book collections, and moved to a smaller residence that had a studio where he continued to pursue his art. On painting trips, he traveled to Canada, the Midwest, and the South, and also recorded scenes around the New York area, favoring architectural subjects.

This selection may be the result of Falconer's involvement with the New York Society for the Promotion of Painting in Water Colors, which held informal sketching sessions with live models. Falconer produced numerous studies of posed figures executed in this fluid, naturalistic manner with skilled use of the medium's transparent nature over pencil marks. These studies are characterized by a lone figure, often seated on a modest wooden chair, with little suggestion of the background environment; they are routinely signed and dated in a similar manner. Falconer's natural facility with the watercolor medium is evident in his convincing characterizations and assured handling of forms, light, shadow, proportion, and spatial relations.

For more information on this artist and work, please contact us.

This essay is copyrighted by the Charleston Renaissance Gallery and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from Hicklin Galleries, LLC.

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