Edwin Austin Abbey

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Edwin Austin Abbey, drawn by John Singer Sargent, 1888

Edwin Austin Abbey RA (born April 1, 1852 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , † August 1, 1911 in London ) was an American painter and illustrator . He was known for his drawings and pictures on Shakespearian and Victorian subjects. His most famous work, the wall frieze “The Search for St. Grail ” is on display in the Boston Public Library .


Edwin Austin Abbey began his artistic training with Isaac Williams , a portrait and landscape painter. In 1868 he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts , where he was a student of Christian Schussele . In the same year he also started working as an illustrator at Van Ingen & Snyder. At the age of 19 (1871) he went to New York to work for the art department of Harper's Magazine . Here he made the acquaintance of other illustrators, such as Francis Davis Millet , Edwin Blashfield and Alfred Parsons .

In 1876 there was an exhibition of the century in Philadelphia on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the USA. A large selection of European painters could be seen here. Abbey was particularly fond of the English painters ( Leighton , Watts and Boughton). At the age of 26 (1878) Abbey went to England to collect background information on the poems of Robert Herrick for Harper's . In the 1890s he painted murals for the Boston Public Library. On February 12, 1896 he became a member of the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) and in 1898 of the American Academy of Arts and Letters . Undoubtedly, 1902 was a high point for Abbey. For he had been chosen to paint the coronation of Edward VII ; at the same time he was elected a full member ( NA ) of the National Academy of Design in New York that year . In 1903 he received a small gold medal at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition . In 1907 he refused the offer to be knighted; otherwise he would have lost his US citizenship . In 1908/09 Abbey painted several murals for the new Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg , which were completed by his friend John Singer Sargent after his sudden death.

Selection of works


Individual evidence

  1. Royal Academy of Arts: Database Entry - Edwin Austin Abbey , accessed April 9, 2013.
  2. ^ Members: Edwin Austin Abbey. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed February 12, 2019 .
  3. nationalacademy.org: Past Academicians "A" / Abbey, Edwin Austin NA 1902 ( Memento of the original of November 9, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (accessed on June 13, 2015)  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.nationalacademy.org

Web links

Commons : Edwin Austin Abbey  - Collection of images, videos and audio files