Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mostly on the Water with British-born American artist Thomas Chambers 1808-1869


English-born Thomas Chambers (1808-1869) worked in America as a marine & landscape painter.

Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Bay of New York, Sunset

Research suggests that Chambers was born in 1808 in Whitby, England, to a merchant sailor father & a laundress mother.

Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Threatening Sky at the Bay of New York.

He probably learned to paint from his older brother, George Chambers (1803-1842) -- a self-taught artist who advanced from painting trunks and buckets to ship portraits, theatrical scenery, panoramas, and eventually "fine art" marine paintings for the King William IV & the Royal Academy.

Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) View of West Point.

Thomas may well have tagged along on the artistic endeavors of his older brother, since their influence is evident in the signature style he later developed.

Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) View of the Delaware Water Gap.

Chambers left London for New Orleans in 1832 to pursue his painting career.

Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) View of Nahant (Sunset), Boston, c 1843.

He was in New York two years later listing himself in city directories & newspaper advertisements as a marine, landscape, & "fancy" painter from 1834 to 1840.

Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Unidentified Subject.

Over the next two decades, he worked in Baltimore, Boston, Albany & New York.

Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) The Capture of H.B.M. 'Macedonian' by the U.S. Frigate 'United States,' October 25, 1812, circa 1840-50.

While his prolific output suggests a strong base of patrons, Chambers did not exhibit with any official or academic art organizations of his time.

Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Storm-Tossed Frigate.

He did, however, sell his works at auction, as evidenced by a recently recovered Newport, Rhode Island, auction list from 1845.

Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Staten Island and the Narrows.

Chambers disappeared from American city directories & census records after 1866.

Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Staten Island and the Narrows.

He evidently, he returned to Whitby, penniless & disabled, as suggested by the newly-discovered record of his death in the city's poorhouse in 1869.

Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Packet Ship Passing Castle Williams, New York Harbor, circa 1838-45.


Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) New York. 1835-50.


Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) New York Harbor with Pilot Boat George Washington.


Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Mount Auburn Cemetery.


Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Landscape with Mount Vesuvius c 1843-60.


Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Lake George and the Village of Caldwell.


Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Felucca off Gibraltar.


Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Delaware Water Gap, c1840-50.


Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Connecticut Valley.


Thomas Chambers (English-born American artist, 1808-1869) Boston Harbor.


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