John Frederick Kensett

Inducted: 2011
Born: 1816 - Died:

Kensett, John Frederick, 1816-1872

John Frederick Kensett was one of the most influential members of the second generation of the Hudson River School of landscape painters. By age twelve, he was working in his family’s engraving and printing business in New Haven. When he was thirteen, Kensett went to New York to work for Peter Maverick, then America’s leading engraver. In Maverick’s shop he met John W. Casilear who would also become a painter and would remain Kensett’s lifelong friend. In 1840, they traveled throughout Europe, sketching and painting together, while moving between London, Paris, and Italy.

Kensett first came to Newport, Rhode Island in 1854 and continued to visit the Narragansett Bay region until his death. By the 1860s he had reached the height of his career as a Luminist painter of quiet, atmospheric landscapes and New England coastal views. Many of Kensett’s finest and most sought-after paintings were executed along the Newport shore.
Kensett’s entree into artistic circles in New York and his acceptance into high society occurred almost instantaneously. He was a founder and president of the Artists’ Fund Society and was a founder and trustee of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
David T. Shwaery

Scroll to Top