Horace R. Burdick (1844-1942)

Horace R. Burdick (1844-1942)

It is the province of the artist to open the eyes of those who are blind to the beauty that lies all around them on every hand  . . . works are art are produced to be enjoyed, appreciated, sympathized with . . . It is the expression of nature and not nature itself that the artist strives to reproduce.

- Horace Burdick on his ideas about the role that the artist and art should play (Modern Art, 1895)

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Born in East Killingly, Connecticut, Horace Robbins Burdick studied at the Lowell Institute and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He first lived in Provincetown and in the late 1890s he and his wife moved to Malden, Massachusetts, where they would raise his daughter, Doris. Fellow artist Albion Harris Bicknell also lived in Malden where he had a large home complete with a studio and a billiard room where Burdick and other Boston artists frequently gathered to play. 

Burdick was an active member of the Boston arts community, exhibiting at the Boston Art Club. In a 1915 review in American Art News, Burdick’s talents were lauded, “Malden is now reported to have its own Matisse, in the person of Horace Burdick, stalwart member of the Boston Art Club – ‘No striking resemblance to be sure.’” In 1927, he became the oldest living member of the Boston Art Club and the organization honored him by displaying his portrait of President Coolidge.

Aside from painting, Burdick also supported his family through restoration work (for paintings) and his daughter, Doris Burdick, found a career as an “accomplished silhouette artist”, often exhibiting alongside her father. Burdick exhibited widely including the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Society of Independent Artists over the course of his lengthy career.


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