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 Felix Augustus Peckham  (1837 - 1876)

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Lived/Active: Rhode Island      Known for: portrait

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Ad Code: 4
Felix Augustus Peckham
from Auction House Records.
Clam Diggers
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Felix Augustus Peckham was a rare, gentle man whose strength of character would not allow his infirmities to dim his outlook on life. Despite a spinal disease that took the use of his legs as a young boy and eventually caused his death, his countenance was always positive and endearing.

He was born December 30, 1837, in Middleton, Rhode Island, the second child of Felix and Esther Peckham. His father was a successful farmer until 1846 when, with the death of his wife, the family moved to Newport. There he engaged in business and real estate while also becoming a director of the local bank.

What little that is known of the artist's development was stated in his obituary: "When quite young his talents indicated that he would become an artist. With a few lessons given to him by a dear friend (unknown), he commenced and continued his work, until the canvas bore evidence of great skill and beauty. His studio abounds in beautiful paintings from his own labor while other productions beautify many homes..." While the artist loved doing still-lifes, it was his portraits that found special favor with his friends and clients. This appreciation was also noted: "His crayon portraits were very fine and had that life-like expression about them which made them superior to the work of many artists of much wider fame." Of benefit, no doubt, was his sensitivity and power of observation.

F. Augustus Peckham, as he signed his work, lived at home all his life, never marrried and gave his all for his art. He died January 31, 1876, at the age of 38. Only one portrait is currently known: "Miss Ruth Franklin, 1868" in the collection of the Newport Historical Society.

Written and submitted February 2004 by Edward Bentley, Art Collector and Researcher from Lansing, Michigan. This biography was published in the "Fine Arts Trader".

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