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William Baxter Closson

Also Known as: William B. Closson, William Baxter Palmer Closson

Thetford, Vermont 1848

Hartford, Connecticut 1926

Active in:

  • Washington, District of Columbia
  • Newton, Massachusetts
  • Boston, Massachusetts


Born October 13, 1848, in Thetford, Vt. Educated at the Thetford Academy. Worked as a clerk in the railroad office. Went to Boston as an apprentice wood engraver with Samuel S. Kilburn. Studied drawing at the Lowell Institute. Worked as a free-lance engraver for Century Co., Harper's and for various Boston book publishers. Shared a studio with George Fuller. Went to Europe, 1881–83, to engrave masterpieces for Harper's. Exhibited at the Paris Salon. Louis Prang's Homes and Haunts of the Poets (1886) included etchings by Closson. Developed a unique wood engraving technique, 1888. In Paris, 1888–89. Exhibited at the Salon. Quit engraving for painting, 1890. During the years 1907–17, lived in Washington, D.C., Boston, and Newton, Mass. Married Grace Worden Gallaudet Kendall, widow of Francis Lockwood Kendall and daughter of Dr. Edward Miner Gallaudet, president of Gallaudet College, Washington, D.C. Died May 30, 1926, in Hartford, Conn.

Andrew J. Cosentino and Henry H. Glassie The Capital Image: Painters in Washington, 1800–1915 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1983)

Works in the collection by
William Baxter Closson