Arthur Burdett Frost (1851-1928) Coming In, 1895 signed and dated "A.B. Frost. 1895" lower right watercolor, 17 1/4 by 25 1/2 in. Bedel & Cie and L. Prevotess labels on back
Arthur B. Frost was born in Philadelphia in 1851, and spent his most prolific years in New Jersey. Considered one of the great illustrators of the Golden Age of American Illustration, he illustrated more than ninety books and produced thousands of illustrations for “Harper’s Weekly,” “Scribner’s,” and “Life” magazines. Frost’s illustrative work chronicles the mood and details of the daily life of farmers, hunters, and fishermen, as well as barnyards and pastoral motifs.
By 1876 he was on Harper’s staff working on many books, including “Tom Sawyer,” “Uncle Remus,” and “Mr. Dooley.” He also illustrated Theodore Roosevelt’s sporting book, "Hunting Trips of a Ranchman."
Frost was an ardent sportsman who spent his summers and autumns fishing, rowing, and huntingducks and snipe. He completed many watercolors and oils of the New Jersey seaside, often depicting hunting and shooting scenes which capture the drama of sport in realistic, detailed settings.
In 1891 Frost began studying with William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). He spent time in the art colony of Rockport, Massachusetts, and the Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art, founded by Mr. Chase outside of Southampton, New York. Frost received an Honorable Mention at the Paris Exposition in 1900, as did Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) and E.I. Couse (1866-1936), among others. Frost himself was on the selection committee of the United States' Fine Arts Exhibit for Illustrations and Drawings for the Exposition.
In 1906 he, his wife Emily, who was also an artist, and their two sons departed for Europe to live and paint in France. His son Jack studied at the Academie Julian and Arthur, Jr. studied with Matisse in the newly formed Academie Matisse. The 1909-1910 "American Art Annual" lists Frost’s contact information as “care of Morgan, Harges & Co in Paris.” Frost returned to his estate, Moneysunk, in Convent Station, New Jersey, in 1914 for the remainder of his life and career.
This work, “Coming In,” is similar to the iconic work “Good Luck,” which was made into a print in 1903. In it, a finely rendered hunter brings in the day’s haul while his partner secures a boat filled with decoys. Frost skillfully depicts subtle details such as the water jug, lunch basket, guns, and raincoats. The atmospheric and detailed costal marsh scene conveys and captures a satisfying day.
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