Little is known about Thomas H. Hotchkiss's educational background. In 1853 Hotchkiss exhibited for the first time at the Rochester, New York, studio of Henry Johnson Brent. He soon relocated to New York City and began exhibiting landscape work at the National Academy of Design in 1856, and works within the circle of artists surrounding Asher B. Durand. A short time after being elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design, Hotchkiss departed for Europe, to study in London and Paris. In 1860, Hotchkiss became fast friends with Elihu Vedder and established a permanent studio in Rome where he shared the company of fellow Americans William Wetmore Story, William Henry Rinehart, and Sanford Gifford. Hotchkiss, who did not know success in his lifetime and was plagued with tuberculosis early in life, developed a close support group made up of these fellow artists. Hotchkiss returned to the States only once after moving to Rome in order to sketch his native Catskill landscape.
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)