Ben Foster (1852-1926)
Where: Fox Road
When: ~1890 -1920
Foster was a tonalist painter who was born and spent his childhood in Maine, along with his artist brother, Charles Foster (1850-1931). Foster moved to New York City in 1870, and worked in the mercantile industry until, in 1882, he determined that he wanted to pursue a career in art. Foster studied privately with Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921) at the Art Students League, and took lessons in Paris from 1886-1887.
Foster met Lydia Brewster Hubbard in New York on one of her frequent trips to the Art Students League, and it was probably at her suggestion that Foster began visiting Cornwall in the 1890s. He first rented during the summers, and then purchased a farm on Fox Road. With a studio in Manhattan and a home in rural Cornwall, he became known for his bucolic, tonal scenes of the countryside, often drenched in the atmospheric effects of dawn, sunset, or twilight.
Hubbard studied with Foster when he was in Cornwall. They frequently painted together there, and some of their paintings are of similar scenes and in similar styles.
In addition to painting, Foster wrote art reviews for the New York Evening Post and The Nation.
Image from the Collection of the Cornwall Historical Society, gift of Betsey Unger and Sarah Jenny