American, 1837-1908

Alfred Thompson Bricher

“The rugged cliffs on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, with the dramatic tides of the Bay of Fundy and the quiet coastal inlets at low tide were favorite subjects of Alfred Thompson Bricher. His works appeared in the major exhibitions of the late nineteenth century and were known through illustrations for Harper’s New Monthly Magazine and the popular chromolithographs of Louis Prang (1823–1909).

“Throughout his career, Bricher remained a conservative painter. He was particularly influenced by such artists as John F. Kensett (1818–1872), a Hudson River School painter who inspired his interest in capturing effects of light and atmosphere. The looser handling of paint in his later work shows the influence of the Barbizon painters.

“Bricher was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1837 and spent his childhood in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he attended school. Later, he worked as a clerk in a Boston drygoods store and painted in his spare time. He may have studied art at the Lowell Institute in Boston during the mid-fifties; although an 1875 article in the Art Journal states that during his early years in Boston, Bricher had little contact with other artists and was “entirely self-taught” (p. 340). The same article says that William Stanley Haseltine (1835–1900) and Charles Temple Dix (1840–1873), whom Bricher met in 1858 while sketching on Mount Desert Island, Maine, had a decisive influence on his style. Haseltine’s paintings of sunstruck, fissured rocks on the New England coast, may have prompted Bricher to turn from landscape to marine paintings in which large rocks dominate the foreground. He probably also knew the marine and still-life painter Martin Johnson Heade (1819–1904), who worked in Newburyport during the early 1860s. In addition to painting on the New England coast, Bricher went on sketching trips to the White Mountains and the Catskills and in 1866 to the upper Mississippi River and Minnesota.

“Bricher moved to New York in 1868. During the 1870s, he occupied a studio in the YMCA Building. He was a member of the American Society of Painters in Water Colors and an associate of the National Academy of Design. In 1882, while maintaining a studio in New York, he built a summer home in Southampton, Long Island, to be closer to the sea. From 1890 until his death in 1908, he lived in New Dorp, Staten Island.”

(Burke, Doreen Bolger, American Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vol. III, A Catalogue of Works by Art and Artists Born between 1846 and 1864, 1980).

Museum Collections:
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso, IN
Canton Museum of Art, Canton, OH
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NH
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Huntington Library, San Marino, CA
Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages, Stony Brook, NY
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ
Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, NY
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, OH
Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, IL
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA
The White House, Washington, D.C.
Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS

Mark Murray Fine Paintings is a New York gallery specializing in buying and selling 19th century and early 20th century artwork. 

Paintings for sale

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Alfred Thompson Bricher Paintings Previously Sold

ALFRED THOMPSON BRICHER  Low Tide, Grand Manan Island   Oil on canvas 15 x 33 inches (38.1 x 83.8 cm)  SOLD

Low Tide, Grand Manan Island

Oil on canvas
15 x 33 inches (38.1 x 83.8 cm)