Essay by Rebecca W. Davidson
Abbott Fuller Graves (1859-1936)
Abbott Graves was a long-time friend of Robert C. Vose. His first solo show, entitled Exhibition of Paintings of New England Gardens by Abbott Graves, opened at Vose on December 29, 1913, and Graves showed paintings steadily at the Boylston Street gallery until the time of his death in 1936. Graves’ paintings always sold very well. Robert C. Vose repeatedly asked Graves for whatever works he had ready; especially desirable were his pictures of colonial doorways. At the height of his popularity, in the mid-1920s, Graves joked with William C. Thompson, Robert’s first cousin and Vose Galleries employee, “My dear Mr. Thompson: Until we perfect our machine for producing doorway [paintings] we cannot promise delivery under thirty days. As we have so many demands for pictures by return mail this machine has become necessary.” Vose Galleries held a popular exhibition of his work in October 2001, including a selection of these garden masterpieces.