Leslie Prince Thompson (1880-1963)

Leslie Prince Thompson (1880-1963)

Leslie Prince Thompson had a reputation for producing masterful impressionistic landscapes, portraits and beach scenes. He learned these skills while training at the Massachusetts Normal Art School under Ernest L. Major (1864-1950) and continuing at the Museum School with Edmund Tarbell. Thompson received the prestigious Paige Traveling Scholarship and proceeded to spend two years in Europe before returning to Boston where he received private instuction under Tarbell.

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In 1912 when Tarbell and Frank Benson resigned from the Museum School, Thompson and fellow Museum School graduate Frederick Bosley were appointed as replacement teachers. Thompson upheld the traditions championed by his predeccesors, but after eighteen years he resigned with Bosley in protest over the introduction of modern art into the curriculum. 

Thompson was a colorful character and active in Boston’s art circles. He kept a studio at the Fenway Studios building and was a member of the Copley Society, the Guild of Boston Artists, the St. Botolph Club, the Tavern Club, and the National Academy of Design. He also taught classes in Ogunquit, Maine, and became an avid fisherman. Robert C. Vose, Jr. (1912 -1998), remembered Thompson in his studio, where, “during spring and summer months, one would find, more often than not, a sign on his door reading: ‘Gone Fishing.’”

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