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 Sylvester Phelps Hodgdon  (1830 - 1906)

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Lived/Active: Maine/Massachusetts      Known for: landscape, coastal scene, marine and portrait painting, lithographs

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Ad Code: 3
Sylvester Phelps Hodgdon
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Peter Kostoulakos, AOA, NEAA:  Fine Art Consultant,

Sylvester Phelps Hodgdon – painter, lithographer, and teacher - was born in Salem, MA on December 25, 1830 and died in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, MA in 1906.  Although better know for his New England landscape paintings, especially the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Hodgdon did watercolors and made lithographs of his paintings during the mid to late 1800s.  In addition to painting New England coastal scenes, Hodgdon painted in the Adirondacks.  A small number of lithographic prints enabled Hodgdon to enhance his reputation and make a little extra money.  Other areas of artistic interest include boats, forts, lakes, street scenes, and portraits.  

His early formal training started in Salem, MA under portrait painter, Edward Holyoke Jr. (1827-?).  Hodgdon earned his living by painting portraits until 1855.  The next year he was in Boston studying painting and lithography with Benjamin Champney (1817-1907).  Champney had just returned from Europe and was painting portraits and experimenting with lithography. Later, he studied under Samuel Rouse in New York City.

In 1850, Hodgdon worked for the Boston lithographer L. H. Bradford while creating views of the Old Man of the Mountain, the Flume, and other New England scenes.  He taught life classes at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Art Club.  The Boston City Directory has him listed with a studio on Summer Street as early as 1861.  Later, in 1862, he moved into the Studio Building on Tremont Street and kept a studio there for thirty years.  Hodgdon lived at 202 Savin Hill Avenue in Boston and, in 1890, he stayed at Wentworth Hall in Jackson, NH where he may have been the artist-in-residence.

Hodgdon exhibited with the Boston Art Club, 1874, 1876, 1880, and 1882; the National Academy of Design, 1864-1868; the Brooklyn Art Association; and the Boston Athenaeum, 1858, 1863,1865, and 1873 (exhibits between 1865 and 1873 are unclear).

Collections of Hodgdon’s work can be seen in the Denver Art Museum; the Malden Public Library; the University of Michigan Museum of Art; the Boston Athenaeum Library; the Paul Revere Memorial Association, Boston; an oil portrait of Daniel Needham (before 1898) in the Groton Historical Society, Groton, MA; and the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, St. Johnsbury, VT.

Who Was Who in American Art, 1999, pages 1580-1581
Davenport's Art Reference, 2006/2007 Edition, page 1026
Boston Art Club 1855-1950
Vose Galleries Boston, MA, page 76
Boston Art Club Exhibition Record 1873-1909, page 216
New York Historical Society Dictionary of American Artists 1564-1860, Groce & Wallace, page 320
Smithsonian Institution Research Information System
White Mountain Art web site
New Hampshire Historical Society web site

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