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Charles W. Knapp    Click Images to Enlarge


(American, 1823-1900)

Charles W. Knapp is well known for his quintessential depictions of farm life along the rivers and shorelines of America from New Hampshire to upper state New York and for his realistic views along Narragansett Bay that were painted during the Hudson River School era. Narragansett Bay is a rare and major example painted during the peak of the Hudson River School tradition and shows the elegant lifestyle seen along the shorelines of Rhode Island during an era gone by.

Knapp was born in Philadelphia in 1823 and he died in that city in 1900. He first exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York City in 1859, at which time his address is listed as New York City. In 1878 he exhibited two New Hampshire views at the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association in Boston, many views at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1877-1887) and most recently his canvases of Ellsworth Brook in West Campton, NH, the Entrance to Franconia Knotch, Silver Lake near Mount Chocorua, the Peabody River in Mount Washington, Saco and Kearsarge and the White Mountains from Androscoggin Valley were listed in New Hampshire Scenery (C.H. Campbell, NH Historical Society, Phoenix Publishing1985). His work is represented at the PAFA; the NH Historical Society, the Minnesota Institute for Arts, the RH Fleming Museum and elsewhere.

Knapp's paintings are in many relevant private collections and at the New Hampshire Historical Society, Dartmouth College Art Galleries and elsewhere. He is considered a leading White Mountains painter , but he spent many of his early years in and around Rhode Island, Philadelphia and the Susquehanna River executing shoreline views and landscapes from life. He also painted in the Pocanos, the Catskills, the Delaware Water Gap and along the New Jersey Shore. Knapp's son Charles R. was a watercolorist.

References: Falk, Peter, the National Academy and PAFA records; Who Was Who in American Art ; R. McGrath, Artists in the White Mountains, 1988