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 Freeman Thorpe  (1844 - 1922)

About: Freeman Thorpe


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Lived/Active: District Of Columbia/Minnesota/Ohio      Known for: portrait painter-dignitaries

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Freeman Thorpe
An example of work by Freeman Thorpe
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A portrait painter, Freeman Thorpe was especially noted for his portraits of political figures, most of them completed by him in Washington DC.  His subjects included Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, William McKinley, and James Garfield; Generals William T. Sherman, Robert E. Lee and Philip Sheridan, and Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase.  However, he also was in New York City where newspaperman and polititian Horace Greeley was a subject.

Thorpe first met Abraham Lincoln in 1860 in Geneva, Ohio, where he sketched his portrait just after Lincoln's election as U.S. President.  Later he again sketched him from life while he was giving the Gettysburg address and Thorpe was an office in the Second Calvalry Regiment.

Thorpe was also active as a portrait painter in Texas, where he visited Austin, Galveston, Houston and San Antonio.

Deborah and John Powers, Texas Painters, Scuptors & Graphic Artists, p. 515

Biography from Butler Institute of American Art:
Freeman Thorp (1844-1922) was born in Geneva, Ohio. He studied portrait painting and at twenty-seven began to paint statesmen in a studio built for his use on the roof of the U.S. Capitol. It was there that Ulysses Grant sat for his portrait.

Thorp painted four other presidential portraits: Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, McKinley, and Grover Cleveland. He also did portraits of a number of other eminent Americans, including Chief Justice Salmon Chase, Horace Greeley, and Robert E. Lee.

He was thirty years old when he painted the portrait of Secretary Cameron, who, although a dozen years beyond his War Department stewardship, was still sitting in the Senate

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