Enriching today’s décor with exceptional paintings from the past

Robert Atkinson Fox (American 1860 – 1935)Young Girl with Horse

Oil on canvas, 35 x 24.25 inches/Signed lower right

Fox was born in Toronto, Canada, where he studied with portrait painter John Wesley Bridgeman at the Ontario Society of Artists. He immigrated to the United States circa the late 1880s, after having taken study in Europe. He first lived in New York City, then Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His portraiture work included paintings of Grover Cleveland, (the 22nd and 24th United States President), Benjamin Harrison (23rd United States President) and Sir John McDonald (the first Prime Minister of Canada). Fox began his career as an illustrator in 1900 after he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Between 1904 and 1920 he and his second wife, moved frequently but kept within the vicinity of Philadelphia, finally settling in West Long Branch, New Jersey. He became a successful commercial illustrator—commissioned by major calendar companies and art print publishers. His work appeared as art prints, calendars, advertising pieces, ink blotters, candy, handkerchief and jewelry boxes, magazine covers, children's books, newspaper inserts, postcards, puzzles, and thermometers. His subjects included genre (women and children), landscapes, enchanted gardens, country-sides, cottages, animals and pets. He also painted Indians and Indian maidens and the “Wild West”, although he had never visited the West, and historical and contemporary themes, hunting and fishing scenes, adventure, ships, and historic figures such as Washington, Lafayette, Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt. Fox worked for many other publishers, including Brown and Bigelow of St. Paul, Minnesota, Edward Gross & Co. of New York, Master Art Publishers, Chicago, The Red Wing Advertising Company, and the Thomas D. Murphy Co. of Red Oak, Iowa among others. His commercial work has been compared to that of another Philadelphia artist, Maxfield Parrish. Some of Fox’s work is either unsigned or signed with a fictitious name. This was due to a company wanting to make it appear as if they had a larger group of artists working for them. It is also possible that Fox used pseudonyms as a way to keep hidden that he was also working for competitors. One of Fox’s major clients, the John Baumgarth Company, was located in Chicago, Illinois and he made frequent trips there. In 1924 he moved the family to Chicago and remained there until his death in 1935. He exhibited at the Philadelphia Art Club (1898); Art Club of Philadelphia, and the New York Academy of Design.

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