Alfred T. Ordway (1819-1897)

Alfred T. Ordway (1819-1897)

As founder and eventually President of the Boston Art Club, Ordway became an influential member of the Boston art community. 

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Founder of the Boston Art Club and an influential Boston artist, Alfred T. Ordway was born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, and demonstrated a talent for drawing that eventually led to a job working with one the city’s sign painters. Later, he began to paint portraits under the tutelage of G. P. A. Healy, and his strength in this field earned him a commission to render the likenesses of the American presidents for a museum in Lowell. Tragically, the museum burned and the paintings were lost. 

By 1845, Ordway opened his own studio in Boston on Tremont Row where he specialized in portraiture but also began painting charming scenes of the New England countryside, from the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the idyllic shorelines of Maine and Massachusetts. Ordway also served as director of exhibitions at the Boston Athenaeum between 1856 and 1863 and was a founding member of the Paint and Clay Club.

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