Artist Spotlight: Martin Johnson Heade

And just like that the month of March is over and our featuring of landscape artists is drawing to a close! The final artist we are going to feature this month is Martin Johnson Heade, and it’s very fitting for us over here at Fine Art Miracles as he was a Pennsylvania native. Heade may not have been broadly known for his works but he was highly regarding by scholars, art historians and collectors. 

Born in 1819 in Lumberville, Pennsylvania, Heade’s father was a shopkeeper and received his first training from Edward Hicks, a folk artist. Martin was painting by 1839 and was producing works that would be exhibited as early as 1841. He started with chiefly portraits and later in his career transitioned to salt marsh landscapes and seascapes. It was around 1857 that Heade became interested in landscape painting, it was thought he became interested after meeting artists, John Fredrick Kensett and Benjamin Champney in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. After opening a studio in New York City he began to house Hudson River School artists and became socially and professionally acquainted with them. Since Heade himself was not a famous artist during his time he was widely forgotten, it wasn’t until a resurgence of interest in 19th-century American art came about around World War II that there was a new found appreciation for his work. 

Martin was honored in 2004 with a stamp from the US Postal Service featuring one of his paintings. It’s a shame that his work and talent was not appreciated or noticed when he was alive but I’m glad that he has been given a spot in history among other very talented and prominent artists. 

Skip to content