lunes, 26 de abril de 2010
Abbott Handerson Thayer (August 12, 1849 – May 29, 1921) was an American artist, naturalist and teacher. As a painter of portraits, figures, animals and landscapes, he enjoyed a certain prominence during his lifetime, as shown by the fact that his paintings are in the most important U.S. art collections. In the last third of his life, he worked together with his son, Gerald Handerson Thayer, on a major book about protective coloration in nature, titled Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom: An Exposition of the Laws of Disguise Through Color and Pattern; Being a Summary of Abbott H. Thayer’s Disclosures. First published by Macmillan in 1909, then reissued in 1918, it had a widespread impact on the use of military camouflage during World War I. He also influenced American art through his efforts as a teacher, taking on apprentices in his New Hampshire studio.
Thayer was born in Boston, Massachusetts. The son of a country doctor, his childhood was spent in rural New Hampshire, near Keene, at the foot of Mount Monadnock. In that rural setting, he became an amateur naturalist (in his own words, he was “bird crazy”), a hunter and a trapper. He studied Audubon's Birds of America on an almost daily basis, experimented with taxidermy, and made his first artworks: watercolor paintings of animals.
At age 18, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, to study painting at the Brooklyn Art School and the National Academy of Design. In 1875, having married Kate Bloede, he moved to Paris, where he studied for four years at the École des Beaux-Arts, with Henri Lehmann and Jean-Léon Gérome, and where his closest friend became the American artist George de Forest Brush. Returning to New York, he set up his own portrait studio (which he shared with Daniel Chester French), became active in the Society of American Painters, and began to take in apprentices.
Return to New Hampshire
Life became all but unbearable for Thayer and his wife in the early 1880s, when two of their small children died unexpectedly, just one year apart. Emotionally devastated, they spent the next several years moving from place to place, gradually severing their ties to New York. Although he was not yet financially secure, Thayer's growing reputation led to more portrait commissions than he could accept. Among his sitters were Mark Twain and Henry James, but the subjects of many of his paintings were the three remaining Thayer children, Mary, Gerald and Gladys.
In 1898, Thayer visited St Ives, Cornwall and, carrying an introductory letter from C. Hart Merrian, the Chief of the US Biological Survey in Washington, D.C., applied to the lord of the Manor of St Ives and Treloyhan, Henry Arthur Mornington Wellesley, the 3rd Earl Cowley, for permission to collect specimens of birds from the cliffs at St Ives. In 1901, he and his wife settled permanently in Dublin, New Hampshire, where they had often vacationed and where Thayer had grown up. Soon after, when her father died, Thayer’s wife lapsed into an irreversible depression, which led to her confinement in an asylum, the decline of her health, and eventual death, on May 3, 1891.
Soon after, Thayer married their long-time friend, Emma Beach, whose father owned The New York Sun. He and his second wife spent their remaining years in rural New Hampshire, living a spartan existence and working productively. Eccentric and opinionated, Thayer grew more so as he aged, and his family's manner of living reflected his strongly held beliefs: the Thayers typically slept outdoors year-round in order to enjoy the benefits of fresh air, and the three children were never enrolled in school. The younger two, Gerald and Gladys, fully shared their father's enthusiasms, and became painters.Throughout this latter part of his life, among Thayer’s Dublin neighbors was George de Forest Brush, with whom (when they were not quarreling) he collaborated on matters pertaining to camouflage.
Woman in White Giclee
Woman in Green Velvet
Woman in a Grecian Gown
Minerva in a Chariot
Half - Drapedfigure
Girl Arranging her Hair
Boy and Angel
1918 a 1920