Edward Augustus Brackett

(1 October 1819 - 1908)

Born in Vallasborough, Maine; he began his career in 1838, and has produced portrait busts of Washington Allston, Richard Henry Dana, Bryant, Longfellow, Rufus Choate, Charles Sumner, John Brown, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, General Butler, and others. His marble group of the "Shipwrecked Mother and Child" is now the property of the Boston athenaeum.

His brother, Walter M., painter, born in Unity, Maine, 14 June, 1823, began painting in 1843, giving his attention to portraits and ideal heads, and executed likenesses of Charles Stunner, Edward Everett, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. He also painted portraits of the first four secretaries of war, for the war department at Washington. For some years he has devoted himself almost exclusively to the painting of game fish, especially of salmon and trout. A series of four of his pictures, representing the capture of a salmon with a fly, was exhibited at the Crystal Palace, London. Appletons Encyclopedia

Worked in Cincinnati c.1841, and in the same year exhibited at the National Academy as a resident of New York City. From 1842, on he was active in Boston. He was primarily a portrait sculptor, modeling the likeness of such luminaries as his friend Washington Allston (MMA), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Charles Sumner. His work, some of which is located at Mount Auburn Cemetary (Cambridge, Mass.) has been described as imaginative but at times disturbing in its realism. Most controversial was his Shipwrecked Mother and Child," a story piece that when shown at the Boston Athenaeum in 1852, was considered too horrifically authentic in its portrayal of the waterbloated, lifeless figures. He gave up sculpture in 1873, and spent much of his time writing poetry; he also served as head of the Massachusetts Fish and Game Commission. He was an older brother of the portrait painter, Walter M. Brackett.

View painter's art: Edward Augustus Brackett (1818-1908)
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