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Thomas Hovenden Portrait

Thomas Hovenden

Born:
Dunmanway, Ireland 1840

Died:
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania 1895

Photo Caption:
Photograph by C.S. Harris. Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division (LC-USZC2-5960).

Luce Artist Biography

Thomas Hovenden was orphaned when his parents died in Ireland’s potato famine. He apprenticed with a carver and gilder and studied at the School of Design in Cork. At twenty-three, Hovenden immigrated to the United States, where he supported himself by coloring photographs and making frames in New York City. Following a move to Baltimore, Hovenden caught the attention of the prominent collector William T. Walters, who encouraged him to study in Paris. When Hovenden returned to New York, he began painting indoor scenes of everyday life that won him great success and popularity. His career was cut short when he was killed by a train at a railroad crossing. (Terhume, Thomas Hovenden (1840-1895): American Painter of Hearth and Homeland, 1996)