A celebrated pioneer of American Landscape painting, Benjamin Crackbone Champney was born in New Ipswich, New Hampshire in 1817. Champney’s father, a lawyer, died suddenly in 1827 and the boy, one of seven children, was sent to live with an aunt in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He was put to work in a cotton mill owned by his uncle. When Champney was sixteen he went to Boston where he first worked for a shoe dealer, then apprenticed to Pendelton lithographers from whom he acquired training as a draftsman. At this time Champney also began to experiment with landscapes. Upon seeing the young man’s work, prominent artist Washington Allston encouraged him to study in Paris. In 1841 Champney left for Europe, where he entered the atelier of Eugene Boudin, and made copies of landscapes in the Louvre. In 1845 he painted and studied in Florence and Rome, returning to Boston late that year. Back in Europe in 1847, he completed a panorama of the Rhine River, which was exhibited in Boston, but which burned in the Crystal Palace fire in 1858. In 1848 he returned to the United States to avoid the Revolution in France. Champney established a studio in Boston and gained a reputation as a landscape artist. In 1850 he revisited the White Mountains of New Hampshire, which he had seen briefly in 1838. Champney and John F. Kensett, whom he had come to know in Paris, began exploring the White Mountains together, producing hundreds of paintings of the mountain vistas. In 1865 Champney returned to Europe and sketched in England, France, Italy, and Switzerland. By 1874 the artist’s success enabled him to purchase a mansion in Woburn, Massachusetts where he would spend the winter months. Summers were spent at his studio on the Saco River in North Conway, New Hampshire. His North Conway studio became a tourist attraction and a magnet for aspiring young artists, whom Champney mentored. Champney was thus central to the development of what would come to be known as the White Mountain school of art. Besides landscapes, Champney enjoyed flower painting. The artist wrote in his memoirs that his wife’s garden was “a constant source of pleasure and profit.” Champney was a founding member of the Boston Art Club. His paintings were exhibited at, among others: the Boston Artist’s Association; the Boston Athenaeum; the Paris Salon; the National Academy of Design; the American Art Union; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; the Boston Sanitary Fair; and the United States Centennial Exposition of 1876. Champney died in Woburn in 1907. His work is represented in many museum, library, and university collections in the United States.