What does this painter…
Albert Pinkham Ryder, The Lovers’ Boat
oil on wood, 11-3/8″ x 12″
Smithsonian American Art Museum 2005.14
…have in common with this painter?
Albert Bierstadt, San Francisco Bay,
oil on paperboard mounted on paperboard 13-3/4″ x 19-1/8″
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1979.98.440
ALBERT PINKHAM RYDER AND ALBERT BIERSTADT LIVED RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM EACH OTHER
One of my favorite American painters, Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917), was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts. What a delight it was to learn that painter Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) was also from New Bedford; the Bierstadt family arrived there in 1851 from Germany. The amazing fact is that families both lived on Mill Street, directly across from the other.
Did the two artists
know each other?
According to Dr. Elizabeth Broun, in Albert Pinkham Ryder, there is no evidence they were acquainted. Given their 17-year age spread, even in later years, they were not likely to have socialized.
Yet, how easy it is to imagine an opportunity for them to meet. Maybe not at first, for Ryder was only a toddler. But later, around 1857-1958, when Bierstadt returned to New Bedford from his travels. Ryder was now 12, and Bierstadt, now 29 offered art classes for a year and one half. Just maybe then did they meet?
…And just maybe, if I am lucky, a little bit
of Albert Pinkham Ryder will rub off on me…