William Langson Lathrop

Life Dates

William Langson Lathrop was born in Warren, Illinois, and was largely self-taught until he traveled to New York for a brief period of study with William Merritt Chase at the Art Students League. In the early 1880’s Lathrop secured a job as a graphic artist with Charles Parsons at Harper’s Magazine. In 1886 he traveled and worked throughout the provincial regions of France, Holland, and England. His wide acclaim came in the 1890’s when he won the Evans Prize at the New York Water Color Club for one his works. Following soon after, Lathrop held his first public exhibition and became represented by the Macbeth Galleries. By 1896, his paintings had won national recognition and in 1902 he was elected to the National Academy of Design.

Lathrop is known as the "Father of the New Hope Art Colony.” He moved with his family into the historic property known as Phillips' Mill in New Hope, Pennsylvania, in 1902. His reputation as an artist and a teacher attracted other artists such as Edward Redfield and Charles Rosen who went on to form the group known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists. Lathrop's home was the social and artistic center of the growing New Hope Art Colony, with tea and conversation the order of the day every Sunday. So vibrant were the art activities at Phillips' Mill, the New Hope Colony’s principal exhibition space,  that members of the New Hope community purchased it after Lathrop's death and converted it into community-based art association that is still active today.

Today his paintings are featured in many museums all over the country such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art in D.C., the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Akron Art Museum in Ohio, the Harvard University Art Museums, the James A.Michener Art Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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