Nineteenth-century American art has few more prolific or protean personalities than George Herbert McCord. A remarkably adept draughtsman, McCord was also a master of the media of oil, pastel, and watercolor. Born in New York City in August of 1848, McCord took instruction at the Hudson River Institute and the Claverack Academy (Claverack, NY). He is also thought to have studied with both Samuel F. B. Morse and James Fairman. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design as early as 1868, becoming an Associate of the Academy in 1880. He also exhibited with the Brooklyn Art Association, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts. From 1900 to 1901, he was president of the Salmagundi Club. The artist first gained public recognition in 1875 for two paintings which were done as part of a fund-raising drive for a monument to Washington Irving.
As McCord adopted many styles in many
media, so he worked in many places throughout his life. He lived
and painted for a time in both France and Italy. He painted throughout
New England and eastern Canada and was one of a select group
of artists invited by the Santa Fe Railroad to paint scenes of
the Grand Canyon. McCord was also one of the earliest artists
to paint extensively in Florida, first visiting the state in
1874. And Andrew Carnegie thought enough of the artist to invite
him to paint the environs of his castle in Cluny, Scotland. McCord
kept a residence in Brooklyn and a studio in Morristown, New
Jersey. He also maintained for a time a studio in the famous
Tenth Street Studio Building.
In Friedrich, Turner, and their Northern contemporaries, human passions become more and more relegated to the domain of nature, where man acts either as a luckless or evil intruder, to be devoured by avalanches, snowstorms, tempestuous seas, or as a silent worshipping mediator, to be equally absorbed by natures quiet, almost supernatural mysteries
George McCords work can be found in the Brooklyn Museum, the Lowe Art Museum, the Hickory Museum of Art, the Hudson River Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Albany Institute of History and Art, among others.
Taken from Gallery, Inc.