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 Hiram H. Thompson  (1885 - 1958)

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Lived/Active: New York/Ohio      Known for: Mural, portrait painting

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Gray Day
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY, BUSINESS, ETC.
by EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc. Chicago and New York 1931

HIRAM H. THOMPSON, Davenport artist, painter of portraits and murals, was born in a family of artists, and from earliest boyhood had no other thought than that he would follow the family traditions in the use of the pencil and brush.

Mr. Thompson was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, February 18, 1885, son of Thomas Edward and Rhoda (Wright) Thompson.  His mother is now deceased.  His father, a resident of Chicago, has been a scenic painter for many years.  Hiram Thompson has a brother, Frank Wright Thompson, who has also made a creditable record as a scenic artist in the City of Chicago.

Hiram H. Thompson attended school in St. Louis.  After leaving school he began his serious study of art as a profession and means of livelihood.  He attended the Chicago Art Institute and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and later studied privately under Walter Ufer, N. A., who took a great deal of interest in his talented pupil and regarded him as one of the most promising students he ever had.  Mr. Thompson while living in Chicago became a member of the Palette and Chisel Club, membership in which organization is a
coveted honor among artists.

On removing to Davenport Mr. Thompson engaged in the field of commercial art and for twelve years handled the work of the U. N. Roberts Company.  He now has a spacious studio in the Davenport Turner Hall Building, where he handles such nationally known accounts as Montgomery Ward & Company, the Gordon-Van Tine Company, the Ferry-Hanly Advertising Company, the L. W. Ramsey Company, the Cribben Sexton Company, the Rock Island Stove Company, the Hydraulic Pressed Brick Company, etc.

Although the larger portion of Mr. Thompson's accounts and commissions come to him from the larger cities of the East and West, he makes his home in Iowa, preferring the beauty and peace of Iowa's rivers and hills to the hectic existence of the large cities.

Mr. Thompson's training and ambitions have been toward the painting of portraits.  During the past several years he has come into the realization of his ambitions, having brilliantly executed a number of portrait commissions.  Chief among these were the portraits of Judge Charles McGhee Waterman, former justice of the Supreme Court of Iowa, and Dr. Clarence Theodore Lindley, donor to the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery. This latter commission was by the City of Davenport after Mr. Thompson won the L. W. Ramsey award for the best work in any medium with his portrait "Louise."

Many thousands of Davenport people have greatly admired what is perhaps his largest piece of work, the mural painting depicting the signing of the Indian treaty between the chief of the Sac and Fox tribes and General Winfield Scott, an event that might be considered the cornerstone of Davenport's history.  This painting occupies a prominent place in the handsome American Commercial Bank Building.

Mr. Thompson is a trustee of the Davenport Friends of Art.  He is the 1930 master of Roosevelt Lodge No. 626, A. F. and A. M. also belongs to the Consistory and is an Elk.  He married, in 1902, Bertha Reichow, a native of Chicago.  Their children are Dorothy, Janette and Hiram H., Jr.

Posted with permission of Debbie Clough Gerischer
Iowa History Project

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