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 William Thomas Mathews  (1821 - 1905)

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Lived/Active: New York/District Of Columbia      Known for: portrait painter

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William Thomas Mathews
An example of work by William Thomas Mathews
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Bristol, England the "Painter of Presidents", William Mathews, did numerous portraits of prominent Americans including Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Rutherford B Hayes, James A Garfield, Daniel Webster, William Cullen Bryant, and William Jennings Bryan.

The Mathews family emigrated to Navarre, Ohio in 1833. William, who had learned the art painting miniatures on ivory from his Uncle William in England, was eager to travel and explore his artistic potential. When he was 24 he moved to Cincinnati where he met Charles Soule with whom he would apprentice and later share a studio.

In 1848 Mathews moved to New York and studied with Charles Loring Elliot. While in New York, Mathews exhibited with the National Academy of Design and earned many notable commissions. His studio on Broadway was open to the public beginning in 1855. He was a friend to poet William Cullen Bryant and his portrait of Bryant was exhibited at the National Academy.

Towards the end of his career he had a studio in the Corcoran building in Washington, DC. Although he was well known, he spent his later years in poverty and obscurity. His brother, Alfred E Mathews, was also a noted illustrator.

American Art Review, August 2005 (article written by Alexandra Nicholis, Curator, Massillon Museum)
Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

Note: Margaret Haines:

We own a small painting of Roses, signed W.T. Mathews, 1857. Accompanying the painting is a short clipping from probably a weekend supplement with a picture of "Oliver Barrett posing in front of Lincoln's last portrait from life, painted by W.T. Mathews in 1865."

My husband is a Civil War enthusiast and displays the painting with other

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