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JOSHUA SHAW    1776 - 1861

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Landscape painter and inventor, Joshua Shaw was born in Bellingborough, England, around 1777. He studied to be a sign-painter in Manchester and then established himself as a self-taught portrait, flower, still life, and landscape painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy in London. In 1817 he came to America and settled in Philadelphia, where he became one of the first artists to record topographical views of American scenery for reproduction. Shaw founded the Artists' Fund Society and the Artists and Amateur Association in Philadelphia, and published a manual for artists. He traveled along the eastern seaboard and throughout the South, sketching and making watercolors which were engraved in aquatint by John Hill and published in Philadelphia in 1819-20 as Picturesque Views of American Scenery. He was among the earliest pure landscape painters in America, and his style was related to the 17th-century idealized landscapes of Claude Lorraine showing people at ease in the countryside. He exhibited widely, at the Pennsylvania Academy, National Academy, and Brooklyn Art Association. Also an inventor, Shaw patented improvements for firearms which brought money from the American and Russian governments. About 1843, he settled in Bordentown, New Jersey. Shaw became paralyzed in 1853 and died in New Jersey in 1860. His work hangs in the Metropolitan Museum, Baltimore Museum of Fine Art, and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and many other museum in the U. S. and Britain.

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