Ambrose McCarthy Patterson

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Ambrose McCarthy Patterson
Ambrose Patterson - Self-portrait (La Fenêtre de l'atelier) - Google Art Project.jpg
Self-portrait (La Fenêtre de l'atelier) (c. 1902)
Born (1877-06-29)29 June 1877
Daylesford, Victoria, Australia
Died 26 December 1967(1967-12-26) (aged 90)
Seattle, Washington, USA
Nationality Australian
Known for Painting and printmaking

Ambrose McCarthy Patterson (29 June 1877 – 26 December 1967) was a painter and printmaker.


Patterson was born in Daylesford, Victoria. He studied at the Melbourne Art School under E. Phillips Fox and Tudor St George Tucker,[1] at the National Gallery Art School in Melbourne and continued his studies in Paris at the Académie Colarossi and the Académie Julian under Lucien Simon, André Lhote and Maxime Maufra. In Paris he became a friend of compatriot Nellie Melba, the famous soprano; Patterson's brother, Tom, was married to Melba's sister, Belle.[2] Through Melba's influence, he was able to continue his studies with John Singer Sargent. He became part of the Paris arts scene and exhibited at the first Salon d'Automne exhibitions. He had five paintings at the 1905 Paris Salon at which Henri Matisse and the fauves stunned the art world.

After a visit to his homeland in 1909 or 1910, he spent the following seven years in Hawaii. Following a year in San Francisco, he moved to Seattle to work as a freelance artist, perhaps being the first modern artist in that city. In 1919 he established the University of Washington School of Painting and Design. Patterson married painter and former student Viola Hansen in 1922, and the two became major figures of the arts in the Pacific Northwest region. Patterson taught until his retirement in 1947. He died in Seattle in 1967.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery (Australia) (Canberra), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum are among the public collections holding works by Ambrose McCarthy Patterson.



  • Alexander, Jane, Portrait of an Artist: Ambrose Patterson (1877–1996) From the Latin Quarter to the pot pourri of Palamadom, Jimaringle Publications, Melbourne, Australia, 1992.
  • Congdon-Martin, Douglas, Aloha Spirit, Hawaiian Art and Popular Design, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA, 1998, p. 179
  • Hughes, Glenn (Editor), Hawaii, Twelve Woodcuts by Ambrose Patterson, Seattle, University of Washington Book Store, 1928.
  • Knapp, Danielle Marie, Rethinking Ambrose Patterson and Modern Art in Seattle, MA thesis, University of Oregon, June 2010


  1. ^ McCulloch, Alan Encyclopedia of Australian Art Hutchinson of London 1969
  2. ^ "American Impressionism and Realism: Virtual tour", Queensland Art Gallery (accessed 20 March 2011)