|George Herbert McCord |
"Autumnal Evening, Housatonic Valley"
|click image to enlarge|
Oil on canvas
12 x 24 inches
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George Herbert McCord was born in Manhattan on August 1, 1848 and began his art studies in that city in his eighteenth year.
He was a painter of landscapes and coastal views and plied a variety of mediums including oil, watercolor, pastel and pen and ink. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design for the first time in 1868, and was a frequent exhibitor thereafter. His pictures could also be seen at the exhibitions of the American Water Color Society and the Society of American Artists. That McCord's work was very well received is attested by the awards that it earned, including medals at the Mechanics Institute Fair in Boston in 1883 and the World's Cotton Exposition in New Orleans the following year.
Over a career that spanned forty years, he searched far and wide for landscape and marine subjects. He roamed as far south as Mexico, as far north as Canada, as far west as the Grand Canyon, and as far east as Europe. His views in pastel of Orr's Island and Cliff Island off the coast of Maine, Oyster Bay, Cape Elizabeth, Gloucester and the Isle of Wight were featured in an exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in 1904. A critic for American Art News on a visit to McCord's studio the following year praised the artist's views of Dordrecht and Plymouth Harbor while announcing that he was embarking on a ten-week sketching tour of Mexico.
Most interesting in the context of a collection of Southern art are McCord's paintings, which resulted from his trips to Florida in the 1870s and 80s. Some of these he exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association beginning in 1874. From the titles of these pictures as they appear in the Association's catalogues, it is possible to deduce that he was on the scenic St. John's River, that he visited the "antique town" of St. Augustine, and that he roamed in the vicinity of the Oklawaha River in the central part of the state. Many of these epitomize the "landscape of longing", which drew artist and tourists alike to Florida and other Southern points one hundred years ago.
George McCord died in New York, in 1909.
Member: Boston Art Club, Brooklyn Art Association, Lotos Club, National Academy of Design
Exhibited: Cotton Centennial Exhibition, New Orleans (1885); St. Louis World's Fair 1904.
Works Held: Art Institute of Chicago; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.