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 John Francis Eugene Prud'homme  (1800 - 1892)



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Lived/Active: New York/District Of Columbia      Known for: portrait reproduction and banknote engraving, curator

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Known for engravings, including bank notes and portrait reproductions, John Prud'homme was born in Saint Thomas of the West Indies, and at age seven, moved with his parents to New York City.  There he learned the art of portrait engraving from his brother-in-law, Thomas Gimbredeas, and by age 21, had a career of his own. Many of his portraits were published in the four volume book, National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans, 1834-1839, by James Herring and James Barton Longacre.

After being well established with portrait work, he turned increasingly to independent projects such as banknote engraving.  From 1835 to 1847, he exhibited his work in New York at the National Academy of Design of which he became a member. 

In 1844, he received the appointment of Curator of the Academy Collection, and in 1852 was given the additional task of doing an accurate inventory of Academy property. However, the next year he resigned as Curator. "The reason Prud'homme vacated the curatorship in 1853 was not recorded, so whether it was in some way connected to the taking of the inventory must remain a question." (270)

In 1869, he moved from New York to Washington DC where he became a staff engraver at the Federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing. He remained in that position until 1885, when he retired and continued living in DC until his death in 1892.

Jonathan P. Harding, Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design, 1826-1925, Volume One, David Dearinger, Editor.

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