Frederic Edwin Church

Frederic Church was considered one of the greatest landscape artists of his era. Born in 1826, into a very prominent family in Hartford, Connecticut, Church was given the opportunity to train under Thomas Cole (1801-1848) who was a landscape painter. In 1844, he worked in Cole’s studio and followed Cole on multiple sojourns into Catskill, NY as well as on trips to Massachusetts during his two year study. This was the only training that Church received throughout his artistic career. Directly following the close of his training, Church opened a studio in New York City and quickly gained a reputation for himself with his very large, vibrant landscapes of New England and New York. He became interested in Alexander von Humboldt, an explorer and naturalist who was well documented for his travels to South America. In 1853, Church made the first of many expeditions with a trip to Columbia. Three years later, he enjoyed a trip to Ecuador, capturing many scenes that secured his position as a highly talented and prominent artist across the globe.

In 1859, Frederic Church traveled up the Atlantic to sketch icebergs between Labrador and Greenland. He began traveling, exhibiting all over the globe with stops in Britain and many American cities which lasted nearly two years. After he married Isabel Carnes in 1860, the couple settled in Hudson, New York. In 1865, his family was struck with diphtheria, taking both of his children’s lives. Out of grief, they traveled to Jamaica where Church created many tropical landscapes. As a religious pilgrimage, Church and his family journeyed to the Old World to travel in Jesus’ footsteps on a mission through Palestine, ending in Rome. By the end of his life, Frederic Church was a founding trustee in the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as the Parks Commissioner in New York City and raised four more children. As he developed rheumatoid arthritis, he was unable to paint and was largely unknown by his death in 1900. Upon his death, his paintings were displayed in his honor which brought about new fame for this outstanding artist.