Harrison Bird Brown (1831-1915)

Harrison Bird Brown (1831-1915)

Born and raised in Portland, Maine, Harrison Bird Brown learned the craft of painting as a youth at a local house painting company. In 1850, he started his own ornamental sign painting business, all the while producing landscapes and marines on his own, and by 1858 he had embarked on his career as a professional artist. His coastal scenes of Maine and pastoral landscapes were eagerly collected by Portland’s most prominent families and he became a founding member and president of the Portland Society of Art. 

Contact Vose about this artist
Read more about this artist...

Brown first visited the White Mountain region of New Hampshire around 1857 and thereafter returned annually every summer for the next thirty-five years. As 19th-century America’s premier wilderness vacation spot, the area provided an opportunity for artists to make a living painting mementos of the impressive views for train loads of tourists. In 1890, Brown produced two popular illustrations of Crawford Notch for the Maine Central Railroad. 

Brown exhibited paintings at the National Academy of Design from 1861 to 1875, and showed at the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876. In 1892, having lost his wife and two sons, Brown retired to London to be with his daughter, living abroad for the next twenty-three years until passing away in 1915 at the age of 84. Today his work can be found in several museum collections, including the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine, and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine.

References: Falk, Who Was Who in American Art, 1999; Groce and Wallace; Campbell, Catherine, New Hampshire Scenery (NH Historical Society, 1985); Chase, Mary Ellen, Maine and its Role in American Art, 1740-1963 (NY: Viking Press, 1963); Landscape in Maine 1820-1970, A Sesquicentennial Exhibition catalog, at Colby College; Campbell, Catherine, “The Gate of the Notch,” Historical New Hampshire, vol. XXXIII, No. 2, Summer 1978.

Request this artist