Abbott Handerson Thayer

Painting, Visual Artist

1849 – 1921

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Who was Abbott Handerson Thayer?

Abbott Handerson Thayer was an American artist, naturalist and teacher. As a painter of portraits, figures, animals and landscapes, he enjoyed a certain prominence during his lifetime, and his paintings are represented in the major American art collections. He is perhaps best known for his 'angel' paintings, some of which use his children as models.

During the last third of his life, he worked together with his son, Gerald Handerson Thayer, on a major book about protective coloration in nature, titled Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom: An Exposition of the Laws of Disguise Through Color and Pattern; Being a Summary of Abbott H. Thayer’s Disclosures. First published by Macmillan in 1909, then reissued in 1918, it may have had an effect on military camouflage during World War I. However it was roundly mocked by Theodore Roosevelt and others for its biased assumption that all animal coloration is cryptic.

Thayer also influenced American art through his efforts as a teacher, training apprentices in his New Hampshire studio.

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Aug 12, 1849
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • New Hampshire
  • Boston
May 29, 1921
New Hampshire

on July 23, 2013


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