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 Albert Leighton Rawson  (1828 - 1903)

About: Albert Leighton Rawson
 

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Lived/Active: New York/Vermont/New Jersey / England      Known for: landscape and portrait painting, engraving, illustration, watercolor

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Ad Code: 4
Albert Leighton Rawson
from Auction House Records.
VILLAGE CROSSROADS, MYERSTOWN, VIRGINIA, CIRCA 1864.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Albert Leighton Rawson, author, engraver*, student of law, theology and art, and extensive traveler, was born at Chester, Vermont on  October 15, 1828.  In 1858, he lived at Weedsport, New York, and from 1867 to 1871, he was a resident of New York City, where in 1866, he was one of the founders of The American Society of Painters in Watercolor*.  He exhibited at the National Academy of Design*, 1858 to 1879 and with the Brooklyn Art Association* from 1866 to 1878.

In 1903 he resided at Hillsdale Manor, New Jersey.

Albert Rawson was the son of Adolphus and Betsey (Armington) Rawson; grandson of Samuel Read and Philanda (Cleavland) Rawson, and a descendant of Edward and Rachel (Perne) Rawson.

Edward Rawson emigrated from Gillingham, Dorset county, England, to America in 1636, and settled in Newbury, Mass., subsequently removing to Boston, Massachusetts

Albert L. Rawson was educated under private tutors, and at Black River Academy, Ludlow, Vermont.  He studied law under William H. Seward, theology under "Elder" Graves, and medicine under Professor Webster of the Massachusetts Medical college.

He visited the Far East four times, and in 1851-1852, by representing himself to be a Mohammedan medical student, succeeded in accompanying a caravan from Cairo to Mecca. He made important investigations in the Indian mounds of the Mississippi River Valley, and in 1854-55 made similar research in Central America.

He was adopted as a "brother" by the Adwan Bedouins of Moab. He was one of the two founders of the Nobles of the Mystio Shrine, a founder of the Theosophical society in the United States, a life member of the Society of the Rosy Cross, and a member of various literary and scientific societies.

He was married to Sarah Lord. He received the degrees D.D. and LL.D. (1880), from Christ college, Oxford, England, and M.D. from the University of Sorbonne, Paris.

He illustrated books including The Life of Jesus by Henry Ward Beecher (1871); executed more than 3000 engravings. and painted the portraits of Queen Victoria, Louis Napoleon, Empress Eugenie and other celebrities.

He contributed to magazines, wrote rituals for many secret societies, and is the author of: Divine Origin of the Holy Bible (1846); Stella and Other Novels (1847); Vocabularies and Dictionaries of Arabic, Persian and Turkish (1854); Bible Handbook (1869); Ruins and Relics of the Orient (1870); Bible Dictionaries (1870?75); Histories of all Religions (1870); Statistics of Protestantism (1870); Antiquities of the Orient (1871); Scarlet Books of Free Masonry (1873); Vocabulary of the Bedouin Languages of Syria and Egypt (1874); Dictionaries of Arabic, German and English (1876); Vocabulary of Persian and Turkish Languages (1877); History of the Quakers (1878); Choreography of Palestine (1880); The Symposium of Basra (1880); Historical and Archeological Introduction to the Holy Bible, with maps and illustrations (1879, 1881, 1882); The Unseen World (1888); The Archaic Library (Vols. I and II, 1893), and The History of Mysticism.

Sources:
Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Johnson, Rossiter, editor
American Watercolor Society website, www.americanwatercolorsociety.org
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

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