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 Elizabeth Hamilton Thayer Huntington  (1878 - 1963)



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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: landscape, coastal, floral view painting

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Elizabeth Hamilton Thayer is primarily known as Elizabeth Hamilton Thayer Huntington

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Elizabeth Hamilton T Huntington
An example of work by Elizabeth Hamilton Thayer
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Samuel Robbins, who has the estate of paintings of this artist.  Robbins has her autobiography, written in 1943.  I gave a copy of it to the Archives of American Art (Smithsonian).

Huntington caught polio as a young woman, while she was engaged to be married, about the same time as Franklin Roosevelt, but she was determined to paint.  She attended Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, studying under Ernest Lee Major.  Her fiance Raymond stuck with her, and lived a devoted and happy married life with her.

She was a distant relation of the painter Abbot Thayer, a descendant of General Thayer who founded Thayer Academy in Braintree Mass, and of Richard Thayer an artisan who arrived here in 1641.

On her mother's side she is descended from Alexander Hamilton.  She came by
her determination honestly.  During her lifetime, she painted about 5,000 pictures from her wheelchair or from a special desk her husband built in her car.  During the great Depression, they would rise at 4 AM, drive to the White Mountains, paint, and return at 4 PM. They could not afford to sleep overnight.

She painted right up to the date of her death---oils, pastels, watercolors, but her best work seems to have been done in the twenties and thirties.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:


Huntington, born at South Braintree, Massachusetts in 1878, was the niece of Abbott Thayer, and a student of Frank W. Benson, Vesper George, and Ernest L. Major.  She exhibited with the American Water Color Society, the Newport Art Association, the Guild of Boston Artists, and the Concord Art Association, and the Doll and Richards Gallery gave her a solo show.  Her work was strongly influenced by Benson.  Huntington's exhibition activity went at least to 1939. She died in 1963.

Petteys, Chris, Dictionary of Women Artists. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985, p. 359; Sternberg, Paul E., Ed. Things of Beauty: Floral Still-lifes Selected from the Louise and Alan Sellars Collection of Art by American Women. Gainesville, GA: Brenau College, 1992, p. 26.

Submitted by Michael Preston Worley, Ph.D.

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