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 James Long Scudder  (1836 - 1881)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: landscape, portrait, genre, still life

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Ad Code: 3
James Long Scudder
from Auction House Records.
Setter in a Landscape
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A still life, portrait, landscape, animal and genre painter, James Long Scudder lived his entire life on Long Island, first earning a living as a house and sign painter.  He married Lydia Kelcey and they had two sons.  One of them, Thomas Lessing Scudder, became a resident California artist.

Exhibition venues include the National Academy of Design.

The Huntington, Long Island Historical Society is the repository for paintings by James Scudder.

George Groce and David Wallace, The New-York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America, p. 566

Biography from The Redfern Gallery:
James Long Scudder, the earliest known and most prolific of Huntington, Long Island’s (NY) genre artists, was born in 1836, the son of a sea captain who later retired to the family farm where he expected James to succeed him in the pursuits of farming.  However, James in early life showed great interest in the studies of natural history and science, and would frequently roam the woods to observe animal life.  He displayed an extraordinary artistic talent and decided to make art his life’s work.  Though encouraged by his mother, his ambitions did not appeal to his practical-minded father, for when informed of his son’s desires he apprenticed him to a house painter.  This arrangement did not last long as Scudder developed the art of sign painting, and found a ready market for his work in his native town.

He had little formal education in art but persevered with his studies and learned the profession of taxidermy to perfect his techniques in depicting animals and game, reflected in the lifelike attention to detail in his paintings of the subject.  When in 1876 his work was exhibited at the Academy of Art and Design in New York, he gained the reputation of being one of the foremost game artists in the country.

An impressive number of paintings were accomplished during Scudder’s relatively short life, most of which are still in the possession of the family.  A small group is owned by the Huntington Historical Society.  Life in nineteenth century Huntington is well represented in Scudder’s work. His seascapes depicting vessels in full sail are reminders of the regular passenger and freight service between Huntington and New York, and his idyllic Long Island landscapes and portraits of animals are reminiscent of a bygone era of hunting and village life.

Sources include: G& W; Mrs Martha K. Hall "James Long Scudder, Artist," "The Long Island Forum " X VIII, March 1955, 43-44, 56; Cowdrey, National Academy of Design; Pisano, "The Long Island Landscape", n.p.


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