Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Huntington, Daniel
(1816-1906)
Collection: American Collection
Specialties: Drawings, Miniatures, Paintings
A member of the later period of the Hudson River School as well as a
renowned portraitist, Daniel Huntington was born in New York to a middle
class family who provided him with a liberal education, including art
instruction with leading American painter John Trumbull. At various times,
he studied art at Yale University, Hamilton College, and New York
University where he was instructed by Samuel Morse and Henry Inman. His
early works were focused on landscape painting, leading to his first
exhibition at the National Academy of Design in 1836. In 1839, he made his
first of several trips to Europe, eventually exploring art in Italy,
France, England, and Spain. When he returned to America, he became
particularly fond of the White Mountains which he visited and painted in
the company of his friends among the Hudson River School artists,
including Asher Durand.

In 1841, he painted the acclaimed "Mercy's Dream", which led to a series
of allegorical paintings of inspirational subjects. After his marriage in
1842, he spent several years working in Rome, focusing on religious
paintings. Friends organized his first solo exhibition in the United
States in 1850. While it was a success, he nonetheless returned to Europe
from 1851 to 1858, this time settling in England and developing a
following for his society portraits.

Following the Civil War, Huntington also achieved renown as a portrait
painter in America and was often referred to as the "official" portraitist
of New York society. He served two terms as president of the National
Academy of Design, from 1862 to 1870 and from 1877 to 1890 where he led
the Old Guard in opposing the introduction of new styles from Europe such
as Impressionism and Modernism. He also served as the vice-president of
the Metropolitan Museum of Art for 33 years, helping to maintain that
institution's conservative reputation during that time. Despite his duties
in various artistic administrations, he managed to devote considerable
time to his own painting as well and over his lifetime produced
approximately twelve hundred works, making him one of the best-known and
most prolific of American artists of the late nineteenth century.

Everl Adair, Director of Research and Rare Collections