Howard Gardiner Cushing

Howard Gardiner Cushing was a painter of portraits, especially of women.

Cushing studied at Harvard University and later in Paris as a pupil of Benjamin Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens. He exhibited at the Paris Salon between 1892 and 1896.

Examples of his work are in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI (of which he was a founding member).

Cushing was friendly with JW [James McNeill Whistler] in Paris and is referred to in JW's correspondence in the 1890s (#13855, #13856).

A memorial exhibition of his work was held at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Dec. 1916.

Howard Gardner Cushing is one of the most remarkable painters and imaginative illustrators who many people have no idea about. It's a darn shame. Until I visited the Newport Art Museum several years ago, I was in the dark about this prolific artist who was commissioned for projects from Newport to New York and won many grand prizes for paintings exhibited in Expositions throughout the 1910s and1920s.

Born in Boston, MA and already rich from his family's wealth accumulated in the China trade, he set off to Paris to paint and train as student of still life and portraiture at the Academie Julian. Of all American painters at that time, Cushing embraced the Oriental motifs and truly understated it with his palette and touch, not translating into kitsch.

...Back in Boston, he married a beautiful redhead, Ethyl and she became a muse for his paintings.

In 1916 at the age of 47, at the height of his career, Cushing was found dead in his bed from sudden heart failure. Delano built the Newport Museum's Cushing Memorial Art Gallery in tribute to his friend and colleague.
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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