Walter Launt Palmer

(1854 - 1932)

William Launt Palmer was born in Albany, New York on the 1st August 1854, the son of Erastus David Palmer (1817-1904) a sculptor.

Palmer was to become one of the finest American landscape painters, one who excelled in portraying winter scenes. He studied initially under the great Hudson River School painter, Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900) before travelling to Europe at the age of nineteen where in Paris he studied with Emile Auguste Carolus-Durban (1837-1917). Paris in the mid-1870’s was febrile and a vibrant centre of the arts. Palmer was exposed to the traditional academic style of painting, but also to the Avant Garde of the Impressionists - a significant influence on his work.

On returning to the United States, Palmer lived in New York, being awarded the prize for outstanding young artist at the National Academy of Design in 1877. Palmer’s style and subject heralded that of the American Impressionists with his first hand exposure to the Impressionists in Paris. He proved enormously popular and successful, exhibiting widely. In 1887 he was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design and an Academician in 1897. He was awarded the second Hallgarten prize at the NAD in 1887 and a medal at the Chicago Exposition in 1893. In 1895 he was awarded the coveted Evans prize by the American Watercolour Society and received second prize at the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in Nashville in 1897.

The year 1900 saw Palmer exhibit in Paris at the 1900 Universale Exposition where he received an honourable mention and in 1901 he was elected to the Salamagundi Club in New York. He received further medals at the St. Louis Expo in 1904 and in Buenos Aires in 1916. Palmer also exhibited in Brooklyn, Washington, Chicago and Philadelphia. He died following an enormously successful career in Albany 16th April 1932.

His works can be found in museums in: Albany; Buffalo; Chicago; New York; Omaha; Richmond; Rochester; San Francisco; Wichita; Washington and Youngstown.