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Abbott Handerson Thayer

Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921), the son of William Henry Thayer and Ellen Handerson Thayer, was a renowned painter and naturalist of international stature. He had a lengthy tutelage, studying in the United States as well as abroad, most notably at École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, under Gerome. He was a member of the National Academy, National Institute of Arts and Letters, National Society of Mural Painters and other prominent organizations. He exhibited widely, nationally, and internationally. Thayer was inspired by the thought of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a family friend, and Henry David Thoreau.

Thayer is credited with discovering the laws of concealing coloration and his tome, Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom of 1909 was a basis of his argument for military camouflage during World War I. One of the works illustrated in this book, Copperhead Snake on Dead Leaves, was a joint creation of Thayer, his son Gerald, wife Emma and Kent.

In Portrait of the Artist's Sister, Thayer recreates the earthly beauty of his sister, Susan Thayer Whiting.

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View Larger Image 53. Portrait of the Artist's Sister a.k.a. Portrait of Susan Thayer.
Circa 1889.
Oil on canvas and wooden strips.
Image: 24 1/8 x 19 3/16 in.

Collection, Sherri and David Whiting Wilson.


Copyright Scott R. Ferris

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