Abbott Fuller Graves


Abbott Fuller Graves was an American painter and educator. His focus was on plein-air scenes and floral still-life paintings.


Graves was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts on April 15, 1859.  He came from an English family who settled in New England. After attending public school, Graves attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Design to pursue a career in architecture. His passion for paintings took him in a different direction. He traveled to Paris and Italy in 1884 to study art.


While studying in Europe, Graves roomed with Edmund Tarbell, who went on to become part of the Ten American Painters who became known as The Boston School.


Graves returned to Boston in 1885 and began teaching at the Cowles Art School, alongside his friend, Childe Hassam. 


In 1886, Graves married Montie Mayo Aldrich, the daughter of stage actor, Louis Aldrich. In 1887, Graves returned to Paris to study figure painting at the Académie Julien. Their daughter, Enid, was born in Paris in 1888. Their son, Louis was born in 1897.


Graves retuned to the U.S. in 1881 and lived in Kennebunkport, Maine. He taught painting as well as creating his own paintings of local life in the coastal town, which were reproduced on calendars and postcards.


He opened an art school in Boston, which he ultimately moved to Kennebunkport, where designed and built a house in 1905. The Abbott Graves House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and is only one of two known examples of the Prairie School of architecture in the state of Maine.


When he was in his early sixties, Graves began to spend winters in New York City, where he joined other artists at the National Academy of Design, the National Arts Club, the Salmagundi Art Club.


Abbott Fuller Graves died in Kennebunkport on July 15, 1936 at the age of 77. His works can be found in museums, galleries and private collections around the word, including the Princeton University Art Museum in Princeton, New Jersey, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, New York and the Hermitage Foundation Museum in Norfolk, Virginia.



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