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William Hart   Click Images to Enlarge


William Hart

(American, 1823-1894)

William Hart is a formidable Hudson River School artist who painted portraits, landscapes, allegorical and genre paintings. He was born in Paisley, Scotland on March 31, 1823 and was five years older than his brother and fellow painter James Hart (1828-1901). The Harts moved to Albany, New York in 1831. William apprenticed to a carriage maker, but by the time he was 18 he turned to portrait painting. In 1840 he began to travel across the country painting landscapes and by 1845 he had painted in Troy (NY), Richmond (VA) and in Michigan (where he spent 3 years). After a brief trip to Scotland he returned to Albany in 1847 and opened a studio in New York City in 1854. He painted Peace and Plenty the following year.

The artist was elected an Associate of the National Academy (1855) after having established his reputation as a fine landscape painter in 1858 and was elected a Full Member of National Academy of Design in New York City. He was a founder (1865) and the President of the American Water Color Society (1870-1873) and member of the Brooklyn Academy of Design (1 st president, 1865) and a frequent exhibitor in NYC, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and Washington.

Hart was a leading member of the Hudson River School. In the 1860 and later in the 1880s he painted cattle along streams in Lower Keene Valley in Northern New York State and his paintings often were reproduced as engravings and widely distributed.

His last years were spent in Mt. Vernon, NY, where he died on June 17, 1894. His work is represented in the Metropolitan Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the National Gallery, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and in many other museums and institutions.