Henry Boese

Artist Biography

A nineteenth-century American landscape painter stylistically influenced by the Hudson River School.

By Chelsea DeLay

I. Biography
II. Chronology
III. Collections
IV. Exhibitions
V. Suggested Resources
VI. Notes

I. Biography

Although he was active during the second-half of the nineteenth century, limited information remains about Henry Boese, a New York landscape artist. While Boese is listed as an American painter, earlier records indicate that he was originally born in France.[1] Boese was raised in New York City by his parents, Ann and Henry, Sr., until he moved out in 1843 at nineteen years old.[2] While a lack of academic records from an artistic institution seems to imply that Boese may have been self-taught, his landscape paintings reflect a clear influence of the Hudson River School.

The National Academy accepted his paintings for exhibition in 1847, 1857, 1859, and 1863, and this would have undoubtedly exposed the work of Boese to the upper echelons of New York City’s art scene. Montgomery Queen, a Brooklyn real estate mogul and developer, reportedly commissioned two of the paintings that are part of Boese’s well-known stagecoach trio: Stage Coach “Seventy-Six” of the Knickerbocker Line (1850, the Museum of the City of New York), The Stage Sewanhackey (1852, the Brooklyn Historical Society), and Landscape with Stagecoach (1856, the Smithsonian American Art Museum).[3] While these three paintings were not the typical landscape scenes favored by Boese, the hallmarks of his style can be seen in the close attention paid to the side panels of the stagecoaches, in addition to the decorative manner with which they were rendered. The uncanny knack that Boese had for capturing these intricate details seemed to suggest that the artist might have occasionally worked as stagecoach decorator as a way to make ends meet.[4]

At the time of his death, Boese had been living in New York City’s Park Center Hotel for six months.[5] Today, the works of Boese are included in museums such as The Brooklyn Historical Society, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Flint Institute of Arts, as well as several private collections.

II. Chronology

1843 Moved out of his parents house, established his profession as “artist” in New York City
1847 First invitation to exhibit with the National Academy of Design
1850s Listed at numerous residences throughout New York City
1850–56Executed a trio of stagecoach paintings: Stage Coach “Seventy-Six” of the Knickerbocker Line (Museum of the City of New York), The Stage Sewanhackey (Brooklyn Historical Society), and Landscape with Stagecoach (Smithsonian American Art Museum)
after 1893 Passed away in New York City

III. Collections

Brooklyn Historical Society, NY
C.G. Sloane & Co., Inc., MA
Christie, Manson, & Woods International, NY
Flint Institute of Arts, MI
Museum of the City of New York, NY
Raydon Gallery, NY
Richard A. Bourne Co., Inc., MA
Robert W. Skinner, Inc., MA
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

IV. Exhibitions

1847, 1857, 1859, 1863 National Academy of Design, NY
1866 Graff & Co., OH
1876 Chicago Industrial Exposition Building, IL

V. Suggested Resources

1. Falk, Peter. “Henry Boese.” In Who Was Who in American Art, 363. Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1999.
2. Kornhauser, Elizabeth Mankin. “Henry Boese.” In Brooklyn Before the Bridge: American Paintings From the Long Island Historical Society. Brooklyn, NY: The Brooklyn Museum, 1982.

VI. Notes

1. “Death of Henry Boese,” The New York Times (January 2, 1897): 8.
2. Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, “Henry Boese,” in Brooklyn Before the Bridge: American Paintings From the Long Island Historical Society (Brooklyn, NY: The Brooklyn Museum, 1982), 127.
3. Ibid, 128.
4. Ibid, 48.
5. “Death of Henry Boese,” 8.

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