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 Alfred T. Ordway  (1819 - 1897)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/New Hampshire      Known for: landscape, cattle, coastals and portrait painting

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Ad Code: 3
Alfred T Ordway
from Auction House Records.
Fishing on Fairlee Pond, Mount Mansfield, Vermont
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Whistler House Museum of Art:
The following is from Peter Kostoulakos, ISA ˜ Fine Art Consultant

According to the New York Times (Nov. 18, 1897), Boston artist Alfred T. Ordway was born on March 9, 1819 in Lowell, MA and died of heart disease while visiting a friend in Melrose Highlands, MA on November 17, 1897.  Some resources say that Ordway was born in Roxbury, MA and was raised in Lowell, MA where he first received art training in a sign painter's shop.  Later, Ordway studied portraiture with George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-1894) but his specialty seems to be landscapes of the New England area — he was one of the noted White Mountain School painters of the nineteenth century.

Landscapes, farms, churches, coastal scenes, rivers, and cattle in pastures are typical of his oeuvre.  Some of Ordway's best works, according to Mantle Fielding, were On the Charles River, Newton Lower Falls, and Arline.

Ordway opened a studio in Boston on Tremont Row in 1845, and, in 1854, with his friend Benjamin Champney, became a founding member of the Boston Art Club; he would later serve as its secretary, treasurer and president between 1855 and 1866.  He was very instrumental in coordinating the BAC's annual exhibitions with the Boston Athenaeum, where he exhibited between 1855 and 1864. 

Ordway also exhibited with the Boston Art Club, 1873-1891; the Art Institute of Chicago, 1898; the Mechanics Fair, Boston, 1878; the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association; the National Academy of Design; the Brooklyn Art Association; and, as the founding member of the Boston Paint and Clay Club — for practicing artists only — he exhibited after 1880.

In 1861, just one year after marrying Annie Hill, Ordway joined the Massachusetts Sixth Regiment of Volunteers.  This was the regiment sent to defend the Capital which, upon arrival in Baltimore, MD, was stoned and shot at by a mob of Southern men who attempted to stop the mob's progress to Washington.

When he returned to Boston, he began a thirty-five year stay at the Studio Building.

Ordway's work is represented in the collections of the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, MA; Colby College in Waterville, ME; the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, MA; and the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, ME.

Peter Falk,Who Was Who in American Art, vol. I, page 461
Ray Davenport, Davenport's Art Reference 2001/2002, page 1398
Boston Art Club 1855-1950, Vose Galleries, page 80
Boston Art Club Exhibition Record 1873-1909, page 293
New York Times, Thursday, November 18, 1897
Whistler House Museum of Art files.

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