biografía de William Matthew PRIOR (1806-1873)

Lugar de nacimiento: Bath, ME

Lugar de defunción: (East) Boston

Profesión: Itinerant portrait, landscape, and commercial painter, painter on glass

Estudios: self-taught

Exposiciones: Athenaeum, Boston, 1831

Obra: Mus. Am. Folk Art, NYC; Corcoran Gal., Wash., DC; BMFA; Fruitlands and the Wayside Museums Inc., Harvard, Mass.; Old Dartmouth Hist. Soc.; Shelburne (VT) Mus.

Comentarios: Folk artist whose earliest known portrait was painted in 1824 at Portland, ME. He lived in Portland from about 1831-40, part of the time with his brothers-in-law, the Hamblens (see entries). By 1841 he was settled in Boston and he maintained a studio there until 1846 and thereafter in East Boston. As an itinerant painter he also visited New Bedford, MA, c.1845; Newport, RI; and Baltimore. Prior varied his style to fit the price paid by the sitter; in 1831 he advertised that persons who wished a flat picture can have a likeness whithout shade or shadow at one-quarter price" (from Maine Inquirer, 1831, quoted in Little). These primitive works are the ones for which he has become best known, but he also painted in a more sophisticated manner. In addition, he painted on glass, many copies of Gilbert Stuart's "Athenaeum" portrait of Washington. In his later years he was assisted by his sons, Gilbert and Matthew Prior. Prior called his studio "The Painting Garret," and some works from the studio were signed "Painted in Prior's Garret." He painted Dr. Leonard Hanna of Columbiana County, OH around 1829. He was also the author of several religious books.

Fuentes: G&W; Little, "William Matthew Prior," in Lipman and Winchester, 80-89; Little, "William Matthew Prior, Traveling Artist, and His In-Laws, the Painting Hamblens;" Lyman, "William Matthew Prior, the èPainting Garret" Artist"; Karolik Cat., 452-55; Sears, Some American Primitives, 32-49; 7 Census (1850), Mass., XXIV, 203; Swan, BA; Flexner, The Light of Distant Skies. More recently, see 300 Years of American Art, vol. 1:135; Hageman, 121; Blasdale, Artists of New Bedford, 148 (with repro.); Muller, Paintings and Drawings at the Shelburne Museum, 114-15 (with repros.)"

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