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James Stillman letters relating to Homer Dodge Martin, 1882-1898

Biographical Note

Banker and art patron James Stillman, was committed to promoting the artwork of landscape artist Homer Dodge Martin and providing financial investment in and practical assistance with the logistics of handling Martin's artwork over a period of at least 16 years.
Homer Dodge Martin (1836-1897) was born in Albany, New York. He studied briefly with James Hart and spent his summers during the 1860s in the Adirondacks, the Catskills and the White Mountains, and painted landscapes from the sketches he made there in the style of the Hudson River school at his studio in New York City's Tenth Street Studio Building.
In 1876 he took his first trip to Europe and from 1882-1886 lived in Normandy, France in Honfleur and Villerville. There he was influenced both by the Barbizon school of painting and the Impressionists and his painting took on darker, more melancholy tones.
By 1897 Martin had returned to New York City and in 1893 Martin moved to St. Paul, Minnesota where, nearly blind, he painted one of his best-known works, Adirondack Scenery (1895) from memory.
Although never successful within his lifetime, within 2 years of his death Adirondack Scenery sold for $5500 and Harp of the Winds (1895) was aquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Martin's paintings can be found in the collections of other important American museums including the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Martin became a member of the National Academy of Design in 1874 and in 1877 was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists.