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Frederic Arthur Bridgman Portrait

Frederic Arthur Bridgman Portrait

Frederic Arthur Bridgman

Also Known as: F. A. Bridgman, Frederick Arthur Bridgman, Frederic A. Bridgman, Frederick A. Bridgman

Born:
Tuskegee, Alabama 1847

Died:
Rouen, France 1928

Active in:

  • Paris, France

Photo Caption:
Frederic Arthur Bridgman, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001295

Photo Caption:
Courtesy Artists in their Paris studios, 1880-1890. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Biography

Frederick (sic) Arthur Bridgman relocated from Alabama to New York with his family while still a youth. He was eventually employed as an engraver with the American Bank Note Company. He began studying art in his spare time inthe Art Schools of Brooklyn and the National Academy of Design in New York. He traveled to Paris in 1866 and became a favorite student of Gérôme which lead to Bridgman's exhibition in the Paris Salon in 1868. He made France his permanent home in 1870, and spent his summers on sketching tours of Brittany. He exhibited with the National Academy of Design in 1871. He lived in Egypt in 1873; scenes from Egyptian antiquity were prominent in his work. Bridgman's talents extended to writing and music; he was a noted composer and musician. The artist died in Rouen, France, in 1928.

National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Frederic Arthur Bridgman declared at the age of five that he had decided to be an artist, and at sixteen he left school to become a banknote engraver in New York. This job soon bored him, however, and in 1866 he traveled to Paris to study with the painter and sculptor Jean-Léon Gérôme at the École des Beaux-Arts. Bridgman spent his summers in an American artists’ colony in Pont-Aven, Brittany, where he painted images of the local people and landscape. In 1873 he journeyed to northern Africa and sailed up the Nile, creating hundreds of sketches and collecting artifacts and costumes. His images of exotic people and cultures fascinated Americans and Europeans during the 1880s, and Bridgman created many more “Oriental” paintings from memory, inspired by his large collection of Egyptian and Algerian souvenirs.