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Artist Biography

 Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait was born in Livesey Hall, England. By age twelve, Tait began working at Agnew & Zanetti Repository of Art in Manchester, England. During this time he arranged for a studio space at the Royal Institute in Manchester (now the City Art Gallery). It is said he would work all day at Agnew & Zanetti’s and paint at the Institute into the early morning. He continued at this pace until the age of 31, when he decided to move to New York. Soon after arriving in America, Tait discovered the beauty of the Adirondacks where he found unlimited inspiration in the topography and fauna for the next 30 years.

A. F. Tait produced over 1,700 oils, watercolors and sketches of hunting and animals in their natural habitat- testimony to why he is considered the 19th century’s best animal and sporting painter. In 1852, Currier and Ives reproduced many of his paintings into lithographs. The demand for inexpensive prints was high and Tait’s meticulious works impressed the nation. Tait’s deer themes set in the mountainous landscapes of the Adirondacks became especially popular and even gained worldwide recognition.

During the last half of the nineteenth century, nearly two hundred of Tait’s paintings were shown at the distinguished National Academy of Design in New York. Tait’s work became internationally popular and his reputation in the market place steadily increased. The Dictionary of British Sporting Painters wrote about Tait that “his work was of very fine quality.” Tait’s scenes of Adirondack wildlife were also exhibited at the prestigious National Academy of Design, the Philadelphia Art Club and the Brooklyn Museum.


Arthur William Tait’s work can be found in all major museum collections throughout the United States. Additionally, a large group of his works are owned by Mr. and Mrs. George Arden. Some of the institutions that hold important works by him include:

Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain, NY, A Second Shot: Still Hunting the Snow in the Chataugay Forest, 1855

Yale University Art Gallery, View of Long Lake

Library of Congress, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, 1877

Denver Art Museum, Trappers Following the Trail

References:

Cadbury, W and Marsh, H, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, Artist in the Adirondacks, Associated University Press, Inc., 1986

Howat, John K., American Paradise, The World of the Hudson River School, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1987.