Henry Ferguson 1842 - 1911
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Henry Augustus Ferguson distinguished himself among a late generation of Hudson River School painters with a successful career in depicting exotic locales from South America to the Middle East.  His birth is variously dated between 1842 and 1845, in Glen Falls, New York.  Whatever the correct year may be, he studied painting under Homer Dodge Martin and George Boughton in Albany when he was under the age of 18, moving to New York “in the early years of the Civil War.” He continued to paint the Hudson Valley, and exhibited at the National Academy in 1867 and 1870.  Possibly inspired by Frederic Edwin Church, Ferguson spent much of the 1870s out of the country on long painting expeditions.  Church had made two trips to South America, in 1953 and 1857, and fortified his acclaim in the 1860s with his panoramas of icebergs and the Northern Lights near the arctic circle.  Ferguson’s own trip to South America was even more extensive.  He spent three years, based mainly in Santiago, Chile, selling work to patrons in South America, as well as preparing a trove of sketches for later completion. Returning to New York by the close of 1873, he set up shop at 8 Astor Place, and continued to produce finished works from this expedition before setting off for another multi-year excursion to Cairo, Venice, and other parts unknown.  Later years saw work in Mexico, but on the whole this period confined him mainly to New York and New England.