By 1845, Alfred T. Ordway opened his own studio in Boston on Tremont Row where he specialized in portraiture. However, he also began painting scenes of New England inspired by his journeys throughout the region, from the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the idyllic shorelines of Maine and Massachusetts. These landscapes, such as Early Summer, soon eclipsed his portrait work and were rendered with his eye for strong composition and his penchant for the gentle, pleasing colors of the temperate seasons.
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As founder and eventually President of the Boston Art Club, Ordway was a highly respected member of the Boston art community. He also served as director of exhibitions at the Boston Athenaeum between 1856 and 1863 and was a founding member of the Paint and Clay Club. In March of 1898, just a few months after his passing the previous November, The New England Magazine published an article praising his contributions to the art of rendering the American landscape, particularly that of New England: “Mr. Ordway’s art forms part of New England history and life, internal as well as external, human as well as natural. Practically untrained, he was an artist of nature’s making, who, when other men were seeking study in Europe, remained at home, held there by duty and affection; so that in his work there is the New England atmosphere uninfluenced by European feeling or expression.”
 “Alfred Ordway,” by Leila Woodman Usher, The New England Magazine, March 1898, pp. 3-7.
Thomas Wigglesworth (according to early Vose ledger)
To Mrs. Theodore Jones (according to early Vose ledger)
To Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 6779, 1925
To Paul Shortridge, Shortridge Galleries, St. Louis, Missouri, December 1925 to November 1927
To Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 7835, November 1927
To Adrian Eckberg, Boston, Massachusetts, September 1929
To private collection by 1949
To Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 16496, December 1949 (purchased by Robert C. Vose, Jr.)
Gifted by Robert C. Vose, Jr. to Dr. Eugene Record, September 1952
Eventually to collection of a private dealer, Roslindale, Massachusetts, by 2021, who acquired it in the trade
(in faint pencil top stretcher) Early Summer
Robert C. Vose / 559 Boylston St. / (Copley Square) / Boston, Mass. / (typed) TO GENE / (typed) FROM A VERY G. P. / (handwritten) Bob Vose
by Alfred T. Ordway (1819-1897)
23 3/4 x 35 7/8 inches
Signed lower right: A OrdwayPrice upon request