Charles Ethan Porter on Sale Now at Auction
Lot 58: Charles Ethan Porter, (African American; 1847 - 1923), Pink Chrysanthemums, Oil on canvas, 21" x 14"
Estimated Price: $20,000 - $30,000
Description: Charles Ethan Porter (African American; 1847 - 1923) Pink Chrysanthemums Oil on canvas c. 1880. Signed. Charles Ethan Porter, one of the finest still-life painters in America during the nineteenth century, was the first African American admitted into the National Academy of Design in New York. Porter's meticulous touch and astonishing luminescence testifies to an exceptional talent from any era. Porter's paintings can be seen as methodical and often theatrical studies of his immediate world. His native state Connecticut, proved to be his most powerful muse, from his mother's lustrous garden to the fields and woodlands. Porter's fascination with nature's vegetation and topography provided endless inspiration throughout his career. Porter grew up in Connecticut, moving from Hartford to Rockville, at an early age. After graduating from high school in 1865, he studied art for two years at Wilbraham Wesleyan in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. In 1869, he moved to New York to study at the National Academy of Design in New York, perhaps meeting the well-known landscapists Alfred Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917) and J. Alden Weir (1852-1919), who studied there at that time. Porter also studied with Joseph Oriel Eaton (1829-1875), best known as the teacher of William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). Porter opened a studio in Hartford in 1878, and three years later moved to Paris, arriving with a letter of introduction from Mark Twain. Porter lived in France until 1884, studying at the École des Arts Décoratifs. Porter returned to New York in 1885 and opened a studio in Hartford in 1887. From that time until 1896, he moved back and forth between New York and Connecticut, managing to live off his income as an artist. According to the Hartford Black History Project, Porter shared a studio in Rockville, Connecticut with Bavarian artist Gustave Hoffman, who sold Porter's paintings door-to-door because people would not buy art from a black artist. He died poor and in relative obscurity. In 1987, Connecticut Gallery organized a retrospective, which secured Porter's rightful place into the history of American art. A traveling retrospective of Charles Ethan Porter's work was organized by Hildegard Cummings and the New Britain Museum of American Art in 2008 21" x 14"
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Live Auction: 7 days 16 hours
Starting bid: $10,000 (0 bids)