Childe F. Hassam
Childe Hassam was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1859. After his family’s business was destroyed in the great fire of 1872, Hassam left high school, without graduating, to work in the accounting department of a Boston publishing house. He later worked for the firm of a Boston wood engraver. He rose quickly in the ranks of the firm from apprentice to staff artist. Soon after being promoted, Hassam launched himself as a free-lance illustrator, drawing for the pages of “Scribner’s”, “Harper’s” and “The Century”.
At nineteen years of age, he attended classes at the Boston Art Club, while continuing to support himself as an illustrator. He studied privately under Ignaz Marcel Gaugengigl, who had immigrated from his native Bavaria and had introduced the Munich Realist movement to a rather receptive America. In 1883, Hassam traveled to Europe, visiting a number of European art centers with Edmund H. Garrett. He later visited Holland, England, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Cuba. During an 1886 trip to Paris, he set up a studio on the Boulevard Clichy and studied at the Académie Julian under Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre. His work was accepted for the Paris Salon showings in 1887, 1888 and 1889.
Hassam’s mastery of graphic techniques extended beyond painting to wood engraving, lithography and etching, when at the age of fifty-six, he took up the etching needle. This new interest, partnered with his interest in lithography, marked the beginning of a prizewinning career in printmaking. In 1936, the year after he died, the Hassam Fund by the American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded.