William Edward Norton (1843-1916)

William Edward Norton (1843-1916)

Marine painter William Edward Norton was born into a ship-building family and while still a youth went on several voyages before settling in Boston to study painting. He attended the Lowell Institute and also worked with George Inness in Boston, before going abroad to Paris where he studied with Jacquesson de la Chevreuse and Antoine Vollon during the early 1870s.  In 1877, Norton moved to London with his wife and became well known for his marine and Thames River scenes.  He returned to the United States in 1901, settling in New York City, and during this time made frequent painting trips to Monhegan Island in Maine where a cliff off the Southern shore of the island is named “Norton’s Ledge.”   

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Norton was highly successful throughout his career, and exhibited his paintings at the National Academy of Design, the Boston Art Club, the Royal Academy in London as well as the Paris Salons from 1895 until 1898.  He was a member of the Boston Art Club, the Salmagundi Club and the Blackheath Art Club in London.  Norton passed away in New York in February 1916, and four years later an exhibition of his work was held at Vose Galleries in Boston. Today his work can be found in several notable museum collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. 

References: See Falk, Who Was Who In American Art (1999); Groce and Wallace; Vose Galleries’ archives.

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