Nelson Augustus Moore
(1824 - 1902)

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View of Lake George


Nelson Augustus Moore worked outdoors in every season, faithfully painting the scene and capturing the atmosphere of various Northeastern locales. Throughout his career he was loyal to a naturalistic style of landscape and seascape painting, despite the rise of American Impressionism towards the end of his life. Moore was trained as a portraitist in New York by Thomas Seir Cummings, who stressed the importance of likeness. It was an easy transition for Moore into portrait photography when he was presented with the opportunity to purchase a daguerreotype studio in New Britain, Connecticut. In 1861, after a decade as a successful photographer in New Britain and then in Hartford, he sold the studio and moved back to his hometown of Kensington. He began to devote himself to painting once again.

In addition to Kensington, Moore chose to paint in places where wealthy city-dwellers summered on the edges of pictorial wilderness, such as Lake George, Rhode Island, and towns on the North Shore of Massachusetts, such as Gloucester. Moore had firm ideas about the qualities of a good painting: “Works which stand the test of time are those which have been painted and finished with great care.” In extensive notes for several lectures, [he] wrote that a painting must not only be “truthful,” it must make the viewer “feel what the artist intended to represent.” (1)

1. Ellen Fletcher, Nelson Augustus Moore (Boston: Moore Picture Trust, 1994), 58.


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