Alfred Thompson Bricher
Life and work
Bricher was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was educated in an academy at Newburyport, Massachusetts. He began his career as a businessman in Boston, Massachusetts. When not working, he studied at the Lowell Institute. He also studied with Albert Bierstadt, William Morris Hunt, and others. He attained noteworthy skill in making landscape studies from nature, and after 1858 devoted himself to the art as a profession. He opened a studio in Boston, and met with some success there. In 1868 he moved to New York City, and at the National Academy of Design that year he exhibited “Mill-Stream at Newburyport.” Soon afterward he began to use watercolors in preference to oils, and in 1873 was chosen a member of the American Watercolor Society. In the 1870s, he primarily did maritime themed paintings, with attention to watercolor paintings of landscape, marine, and coastwise scenery. In 1879, Bricher was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member.
Hudson River School
Bricher was one of the last painters of the famed Hudson River School. By the end of his life, his style of painting that included landscapes and luminism fell out of style, with Modern Art becoming the premier artistic movement. As his style of art faded, so did his fame.
Over time Bricher's artwork garnered more attention and by the 1980s he began to be credited as one of the nineteenth century's greatest maritime painters. A self-taught luminist, he explored the effects of light and how it reflected, refracted, and absorbed on landscapes and seascapes.
As a lover of maritime life and the sea he purchased a home in the 1890s close to the sea in the New Dorp section of Staten Island where he had views of the Atlantic Ocean and Raritan Bay. He lived and painted at the shore in New Dorp until his death, in Staten Island, New York, aged 71.
- White Mountain art site
- Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Bricher, Alfred Thompson". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
- http://www.nypl.org/branch/staten/index2.cfm?Trg=1&d1=1391 Staten Island on the Web: Famous Staten Islanders
- Media related to Alfred Thompson Bricher at Wikimedia Commons
- American Paradise: The World of the Hudson River School, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Bricher (see index)