Samuel Lancaster Gerry (1813–1891)
Regarded as the leader of the White Mountain School, Samuel Lancaster Gerry incited scores of artists to paint New Hampshire’s rustic scenery in the nineteenth century. Born in Boston, Gerry traveled through France, England, Italy, and Switzerland in the late 1830’s, absorbing the art and landscape of Europe. He returned to the United States in 1840 and established his studio in Boston, from which he could make frequent painting trips to New Hampshire’s Lake District and White Mountains. It was there that Gerry produced his most influential work, which formed the basis of the White Mountain School. Although he never received formal training, his landscapes drew upon the visions and techniques of Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand, whom he may have met in Europe.
Gerry founded the Boston Art Club with Benjamin Champney, another important member of the White Mountain School, in 1854 and served as the Club’s president four years later. He exhibited his paintings there and at the National Academy of Design, the Boston Athenaeum, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the American Art-Union. Today, his paintings are displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the High Museum of Art.