William Hart (1823-1894)
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William Hart was a Scottish-American painter of the Hudson River School. Hart was born in Paisley, Scotland but moved to the United States with his family as a child. Early in Hart’s career he worked under a carriage painter in upstate New York, painting landscape scenes on coach panels.
During the 1840s, Hart returned to Scotland to formally study painting. Hart returned to New York in the late 1840s with a strong background as a landscape artist. Hart exhibited at the National Academy of Design, where later became a member and exhibited for several decades. Hart also exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association and in travelling exhibitions around the United States.
In 1858 Hart opened a studio in New York City in the Tenth Street Studio Building, popular with other artists in the Hudson River School. Hart would leave the city frequently to do sketched around the Hudson River ports and rural areas. Hart also enjoyed painting cattle, which became a major theme in his paintings. Hart’s brother, James McDougal Hart, was also a painter and enjoyed the same subjects as William.
While Hart enjoyed his time in the outdoors, he would return to his studio to execute his polished, large-scale pieces. Though Hart often worked in oils, he was quite talented at watercolor and served as president of the American Watercolor Society in the 1870s.
Hart’s paintings are now in major museum collections in New York City, Boston and Washington DC. Do you think you may own a Hudson River School painting by William Hart? Contact us. We are the experts on William Hart.