Lemuel Everett Wilmarth (1835-1918) American
Lemuel Everett Wilmarth, a watchmaker, teacher and painter, was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts in 1835. He was known for meticulously painted still lifes and genre scenes, both full of detail and exact finish. He was also unique in that in Paris, he became the first American student to study with Jean Leon Gerome, famous teacher at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, and then in New York City, he became the first full-time instructor at the National Academy of Design.
He was raised in Boston, Massachusetts and trained as a watchmaker. While pursuing this job by day, he studied art at night, first at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and later at the National Academy of Design in New York City.
In 1859, Wilmarth’s passion and focus turned to art. He went to Germany to study for three and a half years at the Munich Royal Academy of the Fine Arts and then traveled to Paris to study for several years at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts with Gerome.
As Wilmarth’s fine quality paintings became noticed, he was selected to be the first full-time instructor at the National Academy of Design School in New York City. He also became very active in teaching and organizing classes at the Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts. He stayed with the Academy until 1889 and died in 1918 in Brooklyn, New York. Between 1875 and 1877, he became part of a rebellion against the Academy but then returned to his teaching position.
Michael David Zellman, “300 Years of American Art”