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Shattuck, Aaron Draper (1832-1928)


The seventh of nine children, Aaron Shattuck was born into a family with a long pre-Revolutionary War history in America. His public school education took place in Lowell, New Hampshire, and soon afterwards he began to paint portraits under the tutelage of Bostonian Alexander Ransom. Shattuck accompanied Ransom to New York City and continued his art education at the National Academy of Design, establishing himself as a portrait painter by 1855. His closest friends at the time were Pfaff’s frequenters Thomas Bailey Aldrich and Fitz-James O’Brien. Francis Wolle suggests that Shattuck spent the most time at Pfaff’s when the Saturday Press was being published because he was Clapp’s assistant (1, 128-129). Scholar Mark Lause also places him in the Pfaff's crowd including him in a list of "pioneering landscape painters of the Hudson River School" fond of "natural or exotic themes" that characterized many of the artists associated with the group (Lause 62).

In 1860 Shattuck married Marian Colman, with whom he had six children. His work was closely associated with his wife’s maternal uncle, Samuel Colman, the landscape painter. Shattuck’s own work depicted pastoral scenes with livestock, concentrating on the foreground objects. Locations featured in his work include the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Lake Champlain. In 1861 his artistic accomplishments were validated with his election to the National Academy. His paintings include Sunday Morning in New England, Hillside, Lake Champlain, The New England Farm, The Old Homestead, Granby Pastures, and Sheep near the Sea.