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Artist Biography

 James Mc Dougal Hart was born May 10, 1828, in Kilmarnock, Ayreshire Scotland and immigrated to America in 1831 with his brother William and sister Julie Hart Beers, who were also painters. The Harts grew up in Albany, New York, where their careers began in a carriage decorator’s shop. James went to Dusseldorf, Germany in 1850 for three years to study art before returning briefly to Albany and then to New York City where he established a permanent studio. There, he prospered as an artist and was elected an Associate of the prestigious National Academy of Design in 1859, and gained full Academician in 1860, as well as serving three years as its vice president. Hart was a visible force in the art world, encouraging others to become painters and contributing more than eighty paintings to National Academy exhibitions between 1853 and 1901. He was also a frequent exhibitor at the Brooklyn Art Association between 1863 and 1883, and also at the Artist’s Fund Society. Throughout his astonishing career, Hart also exhibited in more than twenty American cities from Boston to San Francisco, Chicago to Washington D.C. as well as in Europe. Hart’s name continually turns up in the context of important events and achievements among the group of Hudson River School artists.

John Driscoll, All That is Glorious Around Us: Paintings From the Hudson River School (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1997)
Peter Hastings Falk, Who Was Who in American Art: 1564-1975 (Madison, CT: Soundview Press, 1999)
William H. Gerdts, Art Across America: Two Centuries of Regional Painting (New York, NY: Abbeville Press, 1990)