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 Frederick Porter Vinton  (1846 - 1911)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/Maine      Known for: male portrait, landscape, figure

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Ad Code: 3
Frederick Porter Vinton
from Auction House Records.
Portrait of a Young Boy
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information is from Bob Birely, a cousin of the artist's wife:

Frederick Vinton was born on 29 Jan 1846 in Bangor Maine. He died on May 20, 1911 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, Massachusetts. He married, Annie M Peirce, on June 27, 1883. Annie, is one of my cousins, and left no children. I know where her nephews and nieces, descendants are. One, Mary Hitchcock, has a Vinton Portrait in her house, which I saw 5 years ago.

Biography from Whistler House Museum of Art:
The following is from Peter Kostoulakos, ISA ˜ Fine Art Consultant

Frederick Porter Vinton

Frederick Porter Vinton — painter of portraits, figures, and landscapes — was born in Bangor, ME on January 29, 1846 and died in Boston, MA on May 19, 1911. He was active from the 1870s right up to his death in 1911.

The Vinton family moved to Chicago in the early 1850s when Frederick was around 10 years old and then, about ten years later, he moved back to Boston. In 1864 Vinton met William Morris Hunt (1824-1879) and began to study painting with him. At the same time he took drawing classes with the renowned anatomist, Dr. William Rimmer (1816-1879) at the Lowell Institute in Boston and was drawing from casts at the Athenaeum. By 1874, Vinton saved enough money working at a local bank and writing art criticism for the Boston Advertiser to study in Europe.

His first year in Europe he studied under Léon Bonnât (1838-1922) in Paris and later, with the encouragement of Frank Duveneck, he went to the Royal Academy in Munich to study with Mauger, Carl Piloty (1826-1886) and Wilhelm von Diez (1839-1907). In 1875, preferring the French method of painting, Vinton returned to Paris to become one of Jean Paul Laurens' (1838-1921) first American students. He returned to Boston in 1879 and, just a few years later in 1882, there would be a second study tour to Europe with artists William Merritt Chase and Robert Blum. This trip was spent in Spain studying the work of the Spanish master, Velázquez. His third trip to Europe came shortly after marrying Annie M. Pierce of Newport on June 27, 1883. This time it was off to Holland to study the work of another master, Franz Hals.

Commissions were plentiful. Vinton, who specialized in male portraits, was one of Boston's most sought after portrait painters. His first major commission was in 1878, when he was employed to paint Thomas Gold Appleton of Harvard University. From that time on, Vinton painted over 300 portraits. Statesmen, jurists, authors, and professional men were among his many sitters. In 1881 and 1885 he was using the former studio of William M. Hunt located at 1 Park Square in Boston and, after 1887, his studio was in his home at 17 Exeter Street, also in Boston.

Vinton was a member of the National Academy of Design, Associate in 1882 and Academician in 1891; a founding member of the St. Botolph Club, Boston in 1880; the Lowell Institute's Tavern Club; and the Society of American Artists in the 1880s.

He was awarded an Honorable Mention at the Paris Salon in 1890; a gold medal at the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, IL; exhibited at the 1895 Atlanta Exposition; a medal at the Paris Exposition of 1900; a gold medal at the Panama-American Exposition of 1901 in Buffalo, NY; and a gold medal at the St. Louis Exposition of 1904. He exhibited at the Boston Art Club almost every year from 1873 to 1909.

Memorial exhibitions were held at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and, in 1911, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts exhibited 124 of Vinton's paintings, of which 50 were portraits. "Living New England Artists," by Frank T. Robinson, Boston, 1888 contains information about Vinton.

Collections representing Vinton's work include the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, MA; the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor; the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, ME; and the Washington University Gallery of Art in St. Louis, MO.

References: Who Was Who in American Art, vol. I, page 647; Davenport's Art Reference 2001/2002, page 1904; Mantle Fielding, 1986, page 974; Mallett, page 455; Dealer's Choice Biographical Encyclopedia of American Painters... page 1419; Boston Art Club Exhibition Record 1873-1909, page 388; The Bostonians: Painters of an Elegant Age, 1870-1930; archives; Whistler House Museum of Art files.

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Frederick Vinton is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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