John Chester Buttre

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John Chester Buttre
Born John Chester Buttre
(1821-06-10)10 June 1821
Auburn, New York, U.S
Died 2 December 1893(1893-12-02) (aged 72)
Ridgewood, New Jersey, U.S
Nationality American
Occupation Steel-plate engraver, lithographer
Children Lillian C. Buttre

John Chester Buttre (10 June 1821 Auburn, New York – 2 December 1893 Ridgewood, New Jersey), was an American steel-plate engraver and lithographer, responsible for some 3,000 engraved portraits of American political, naval and military personalities. He published "The American Portrait Gallery" in 3 volumes (1880–81) with text by his daughter, Lillian C. Buttre.

The Happy Days of Childhood (1871) by Buttre


He received his first drawing tuition from Hulaniski, a Polish exile living in Auburn. Later he applied himself to the study of portrait-painting. He was, however, better suited to drawing and wood-engraving. His work improving, he carried on the business of general engraver, producing card-plates, wood-cuts for newspapers and engraving silver-ware.

Arriving in New York in 1841, he devoted himself to steel-plate engraving, at which he soon became successful, his work appearing in many magazines and newspapers. He produced a widely acclaimed full-length portrait of President James Buchanan in 1858, together with a full-length portrait of Martha Washington. His Civil War work included sentimental images such as "The Empty Sleeve," "Only a Little Brook" and "Prayer in Camp," all of which sold well.[1]

A resident of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Buttre died at his home there on December 2, 1893.[2]


  1. ^ Famous Americans Archived 2011-10-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "John Chester Buttre", in The National Magazine: (Cleveland) a Monthly Journal of American History, Volumes 18-19, p. 205, Western History Publishing Company, 1893. Accessed November 16, 2017. "Mr. Buttre died at his home in Ridgewood, New Jersey, on the 2nd of December, 1893."

External links[edit]

Media related to John Chester Buttre at Wikimedia Commons