Dana Ripley Pond

Artist Biography

Dana Ripley Pond, known primarily as a prolific early twentieth-century American portrait painter, was born on April 8, 1881, to a prominent Winchester, Massachusetts family. He attended the Worcester Academy and continued his education in Boston and abroad. Instead of taking over the family piano company after his father’s death, Pond decided to seriously pursue a career in painting, quickly establishing himself as a proficient portraitist.

Pond maintained a studio in the Hotel des Artistes in New York City and, for a time, one in Paris. While in France just after World War I, he was commissioned by the American Red Cross to paint a series of portraits of Allied commanders and was granted special permission to use one of the great halls of the Palace of Versailles as his studio. In addition to these illustrious sitters, like Admiral William S. Benson, General John J. Pershing, and General Tasker H. Bliss, Pond is well-known for his portrait of New York socialite Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, completed in 1923. He was a member of the National Academy, the Salmagundi Club, and the Allied Artists of America.

Later in life, Pond returned to Winchester, Massachusetts, where he enjoyed painting impressionistic New England landscapes. He died in August of 1962 in his family home on Cambridge Street. His work is included in the collections of the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Smithson American Art Museum. An award named in his honor is still granted at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, each year.

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