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 Grove Sheldon Gilbert  (1805 - 1885)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: portrait painting

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Ad Code: 4
Grove Sheldon Gilbert
from Auction House Records.
Portrait of Frederic William Hastings. F.W. Hastings (Geneseo, NY 1815 - Detroit, MI 1836)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Grove Sheldon Gilbert, painter, was born in Clinton, N.Y., Aug. 5, 1805; son of John and Eunice (Barns) Gilbert. His father was a blacksmith and manufacturer of axes. Grove was taken by his parents to Buffalo, N.Y., in 1813, and when that village was burned by the British army the same year, the family settled in Le Roy, N.Y., where Grove was educated at Middlebury Academy. He then studied medicine but when twenty years old, determining to become an artist, he studied portrait painting in Philadelphia, 1826-28.

He taught school at Fort Niagara, N.Y., 1829-30, and while there painted portraits. He visited Lewiston, N.Y., Toronto and other Canadian towns, 1830-34, and then established his studio in Rochester, N.Y., where he devoted the remainder of his life to portrait painting. He was an original abolitionist in western New York when the party was so few in numbers as to require the names of all its adherents to make up a local ticket.

He was married, Nov. 30, 1826, to Eliza Stanley, and they had seven children. Their son, Hiram Boy, born 1828, became secretary of the Whitney Elevator Company of Rochester, N.Y, and another son, Grove Karl, born 1843, became geologist of the U.S. coast survey.

Mr. Gilbert was made an honorary member of the National Academy of Design in 1848, and of the Albany Academy of Arts in 1849. He died in Rochester, N.Y., March 23, 1885.

Rossiter Johnson editor, Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans.?Vol. I-X. Boston, MA, USA: The Biographical Society, 1904.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is information sent to by Esther Greenleaf Murer, a great, great grand daughter of Grove Gilbert:

Several of Grove Sheldon Gilbert's paintings are in the family including a self-portrait and a genre scene with children sledding down a hill, which was intended as a parody of current fashions. "The story is that he dashed it off, saying 'this is how some people paint' and put two children in the picture saying 'that's you, Karl. That's you, Emma.' "

An entry in a US Geological Survey journal (his son was chief of the US Geological Survey) referred to the artist as a "self-taught portrait painter whose free thinking religious views caused his Calvinist neighbors in upper NY state to take a dim view of him--he was the local Bohemian, I guess. He was eventually elected to the American Academy of Art. A story handed down in our family is that he used to lie awake at night squaring four digit numbers in his head."

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