Philip Little (American, 1857-1942)

Philip Little was born in Swampscott, MA in 1857. While studying at M.I.T. with the intention of pursuing a career in Business he contracted Typhoid fever in 1875. After recovery he attended the Lowell School of Design at the Institute of Technology from 1877-1880 while working for Forbes Lithography company of Boston.

After the Lowell school, he became a student at the Boston’s Museum School from 1881-1882 alongside Frank W. Benson. The following year he exhibited for the first time at the Boston Art Club. Little and Benson continued working together and lived together in Salem, MA beginning in 1886. They often painted outdoors with each other and influenced the style of each other’s work. From 1887-1901, Little served in the Massachusetts National Guard attaining the rank of General. Little would exhibit his works throughout the United States as well as Europe while maintaining his connect to the Boston School of artists. Philip Little died in Salem in 1942. Frank Benson was a pall bearer at his funeral.

Little’s solo exhibitions included: Little at Rowlands Galleries, Boston (1909); R.I. School of Design (1909); Public Library of Ithaca (1909); Worcester Art Museum (1909); City Art Museum of St. Louis (1910, 1913); Society of Fine Art, Minneapolis (1910); Copley Society (1910); Colorado Springs Art Society (1913); Portland Maine Society of Art (1914); Sweat Memorial Art Museum (1914); Mussman Galleries, NYC (1920, 1928); Guild of Boston Artists (watercolors, 1924); Minneapolis Institute of Art (Memorial Exhibition, 1942); Arvest Gallery (Boston, 1976-1977) and more.

Memberships include: American Federation of Arts; Essex Institute (Curator of Art); Lowell Art Association; Union Club (Boston); Artists Guild (Chicago), Guild of Boston Artists (founding member); Copley Society; National Arts Club; Portland AA (ME); Chicago Society of Etchers; Boston Society of Etchers; Brooklyn Society of Etchers; Boston Society of Watercolor Painters.

Awards: silver medal at the Panama-Pacific Expo., San Francisco (1915); California Society of Etchers (1935)

Little’s work can be found in numerous public collections including: Salem Shawmut Bank, Salem Savings Bank, Salem Hospital, Salem Public Library, Salem Y.M.C.A., the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, the Congressional Library, N.Y. Public Library, the Carnegie Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the Minneapolis Art Institute, the Minneapolis Society of Fine Art, the Walker Memorial Gallery, Bowdoin College, Colby College, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland, and the City Art Museum, St. Louis.

Gloucester Harbor, 1907

by Philip Little (American, 1857-1942)

Medium DetailOil on canvas
Dimensions18 ½ x 22 ½ inches; Framed: 26 x 30 inches
Signed LocationSigned and dated, lower left
Date Created1907

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