Birth: Dec. 28, 1840
County Cork, Ireland
Death: Aug. 14, 1895
Thomas was an artist whose paintings won him world-wide fame. He was born in Dunmanway, County Cork, Ireland. At the time of the potato famine he was six years old and placed in an orphanage as his parents had died. He studied at the Cork School of Design as he was apprenticed to a carver and gilder.
He immigrated to the United States in 1863 and studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City. In 1868 he moved to Baltimore, Maryland and in 1874 went to Paris. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts under Cabanel. However most of his time was spent with the American Colony at Pont-Aven in Brittany led by Robert Wylie. Here he painted many pictures of the peasantry.
In 1880 he retruned to America and became a member of the Society of American Artists and an Associate member of the National Academy of Design. He was elected Academician in 1882.
Thomas married, on June 9, 1881, Helen Corson the eldest daughter of George and Martha (Maulsby) Corson and settled on Helen’s father’s homestead in Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery County, PA. He made his studio in their barn, known as Abolitionist Hall due to its use for anti-slavery meetings.
He was appointed Professor of Painting and Drawing at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1886. The sculpter Alexander Stirling Calder and the leader of the Ashcan School, Robert Henri were two of his students.
Thomas was killed at the age of 54 by a railroad locomotive at a grade crossing where the Trenton Cut-Off Railroad intersected the Germantown Pike, about a half mile from his home. Some newspaper reported his death was the result of a heroic effort to save a ten year old girl who was crossing the tracks. They got off the trolly and were struck by a train which had not been seen as it approached and killed instantly
Among his well known paintings were: “John Brown Being Led to Execution”, “In the Hands of the Enemy”, and “Breaking of Home Ties” which were all on exhibition at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893. Another was “The Home Coming”.
Thomas and Helen had two children: Thomas Hovenden, Jr., born March 11, 1882 and Martha Maulsby Hovenden, born May 8, 1884.
Plymouth Meeting Friends Cemetery
Created by: John Davies
Record added: Jan 20, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24075883
Added by: Thomas Fisher
Added by: Thomas Fisher
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.