Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1837, Alfred Thompson Bricher was known principally for his oil and watercolor paintings of the New England coastline. One of the last great Luminist artists, Bricher brought to a close the cult of nature painting that had begun with Thomas Cole and been carried on for the next four decades by such painters as Worthington Whittredge, John Frederick Kensett, Martin Johnson Heade, Sanford Robinson Gifford, and William Trost Richards.
Bricher moved to Boston as a young man seeking employment; he worked as a clerk at a mercantile house while painting part-time. Though he was largely self-taught, he may have studied at the Academy of Newburyport, Massachusetts and at the Lowell Institute. In 1858, he began painting full-time and for the next ten years worked primarily in the White Mountains, Boston, and Newburyport.
In 1868, Bricher moved to New York City. He was elected a member of the American Watercolor Society in 1873 and Associate Member of the National Academy in 1879. Every summer he traveled along the coasts of Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, and Long Island, making sketches from which he would paint in the winter. In 1890 he built a home in New Dorp, Staten Island, where he lived until his death in 1908.
Today, Bricher’s work can be found in many private and public collections throughout the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco; Butler Institute of American Art, Ohio; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.