Artist Biography

Stephen Seymour THOMAS
1868 - 1956

Stephen Seymour Thomas was born in San Augustine, Texas on August 20, 1868. His parents were early settlers of his native city and built the first two-story house in Texas. He began painting and drawing as a child and was a known artist in Texas at an early age. A successful exhibition in New York City at 16 enabled him to study for three years at the Art Students League under William Merritt Chase and James Carroll Beckwith. Upon moving to France in 1888, he further studied with Alexander Harrison and at Académie Julian under Constant and Lefebvre. He continued living in Paris for 25 years and had great success there as a portraitist and genre painter while regularly exhibiting at the Paris Salon and London's Royal Academy. At age 24 he had the distinction of being placed in Who's Who in America. Returning to the United States just before World War One, he lived in New York City until his move to southern California in 1915. After building a home on seven acres in La Crescenta, he continued doing portrait commissions until his death on February 29, 1956. Thomas is internationally known for his portraits of notables in both the United States and Europe. Member: Pasadena Society of Artists; Los Angeles Art Ass'n; Paris Society of American Painters; Chevalier de Legion d'Honneur (1905). Exhibited: Paris Salon, 1895 (honorable mention), 1901 (gold medal); Exposition Universale (Paris), 1900 (bronze medal); Buffalo Exposition, 1900 (medal); Hors Concours, 1904 (gold medal); Panama Pacific International Exposition, 1915; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1935 (solo). Works held: Metropolitan Museum (Lady and Dog); White House (Washington, DC); New Jersey State House; National Museum of American Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Houston Museum; California Institute of Technology (Pasadena); Herron Art Institute (Indianapolis); California Historical Society.

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