John White Allen Scott (1815-1907)

John White Allen Scott (1815-1907)

At fifteen years of age, John White Allen Scott began his career at the Boston lithography firm of William Pendleton, working alongside two great figures of American art history: lithographer Nathaniel Currier and marine artist Fitz Henry Lane. Lane and Scott partnered in their own firm during the mid 1840s at roughly the same time that Scott began exhibiting paintings in the city. He settled himself into the Cambridge home that would be his residence for over half a century, and began working seriously as a fine artist from his second-floor studio. His works became constant additions to Boston Athenaeum and Boston Art Club exhibitions, as well as at local gallery shows throughout the area. By 1905, Scott had outlived all other members of the Boston Art Club, and he was still actively drawing and painting well into his nineties.

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Scott’s acquaintances remembered him as a jovial, bearded figure, fully engrossed in his artwork and endlessly experimenting with his technique; at the age of ninety, Scott was still testing the resiliency of various oils to sunlight, observing small vials of liquids as they hung in his studio window.  He was most enraptured by the scenery of the White Mountains and the Catskills, using nature as his mentor and guide over the sixty years that he painted. In a 1905 article, an unknown reporter commented on Scott’s affinity to the natural landscape: “All his art life he has striven to rob nature of her secrets in the mountains, in the meadows, in the woods, beside wild streams, quiet lakes and ponds. He has studied her in the early morning in the Catskills and in the White Mountains: he has studied her in the hazy noon and in the evening twilight. And he has never forgotten the topography of his landscape.”[i]

References See Who Was Who In American Art (1999); Articles from Vose Galleries Archives.

[i] Uncited 1905 article, “Scott in his Studio.”

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