Andrew John Henry Way

Artist Biography

Andrew John Henry Way, born in Washington, D.C., received his initial training as an artist in Cincinnati under the portrait painter John Peter Frankenstein. He continued his studies in Baltimore with Alfred Jacob Miller, and in 1850 traveled abroad, first to study in Paris, and then in Florence. In 1854, he returned to America and set up a studio in Baltimore. Way initially worked as a portraitist, but around 1860, after receiving praise for a still-life subject from Emmanuel Leutze, shifted his focus to this new genre.

Way exhibited regularly at the National Academy of Design, frequently submitting compositions of clusters of grapes. Collectors enjoyed the trompe l’oeil technique that Way achieved by showing the fruit hanging against a neutral background. He often identified the specific variety of grape portrayed in his works with titles such as Black Hamburg Grapes, Flammé de Tokay Grapes, and Gros Colmo Grapes. Critics approved of this naming method as it enhanced the authenticity of the trompe l’oeil illusion. His paintings can be found today in the collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy; Smithsonian American Art Museum; and The Walters Art Museum.

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