EDMUND TROWBRIDGE DANA1779-1859
Edmund Trowbridge Dana was born in 1779 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His family home, Trowbridge House, was located on Harvard Street, Dana Hill, Cambridge, and was a gathering-place for artists, philosophers, and literary men. Like most of his family, Dana attended Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1799. He was a classmate and close friend of Washington Allston, who would go on to become a Hudson River School painter. He also became Allston’s brother-in-law by his second marriage. Following graduation Dana embarked on a grand tour of Europe; but it was cut short due to lack of funds. Dana studied painting in London from 1801 to 1804. Back in Cambridge, he became a Justice of the Peace, a painter, and was listed in the Cambridge directory as a “Gentleman of Leisure.” He was described by a contemporary as a “delightful talker, humorist, traveler, and reader, whose literary judgment was much sought after.” As an artist, Dana specialized in marine and coastal views in oil. His work was exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum in 1828. Dana died in 1859 in Cambridge. At his death, this artist and benefactor left land to Cambridge, including the city’s Dana Park and the site of Dana Library, both named for him.