Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait was one of the foremost animal and sporting scene painters of nineteenth-century America. Born 5 August 1819 near Liverpool, England, Tait moved to Manchester as a youth and learned the techniques of lithography while working for an art dealer in that city. By 1838 he identified himself as an artist and had a rising reputation as a lithographer and illustrator of popular magazines. According to one biographer, he met and worked with George Catlin (1796-1872), as Catlin toured Great Britain and Europe with his "Indian Gallery." Tait wed Marian Cardwell in 1838 and immigrated to New York with his young family in September 1850. By 1852 Tait had begun a long, profitable association with the Currier & Ives publishing company. At the same time he discovered the Adirondack mountains of New York, and for the rest of his life his life and art were tied to that region. He became a skilled outdoorsman, hunter, and amateur naturalist. His hunting scenes and depictions of rural life were publicized through Currier & Ives and, through frequent publication, became staples of American pictorial representation. He became an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1854 and participated in their annual exhibitions for fifty-three years. In addition to his lithographs, Tait painted still lifes, horse and dog subjects, and landscapes. In his long career Tait produced thousands of paintings, frequently making original copies of his own work. After the death of his first wife, Tait wed Mary Jane Bartoft, niece of his first wife, in 1873. Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait died 28 April 1905 at his home in New York City. His papers, business records, and a large number of his works are part of the collections of the Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake, New York.
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