Charles Mortimer Thompson (American, 1858 – 1939) watercolor on paper farm scene depicting men gathering hay in a field with mountains in the background, possibly East Tennessee. Signed lower right, "C. Mortimer Thompson 1910". Housed in a wooden frame. Biography (Courtesy of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Portrait Painting in Tennessee, Winter 1987, p. 255): Thompson was born in Morristown, Hamblen County, Tennessee, on March 27, 1858, the son of James E. and Josephine H. Thompson, He moved to Knoxville in 1875 and studied art under Lloyd Branson, who had returned to Knoxville from Europe in 1876. For a time he left to become a pharmacist, but after 1881 he lived permanently in Knoxville with his wife Hattie Cora Stearns, whom he had married on May 5, 1878. Thompson supported his family primarily as a painting contractor. He was accomplished at fresco, paneling, and stenciling. He also did architectural engraving and was Building Inspector for the City of Knoxville. Thompson began painting portraits in 1904. He executed a number of competent and conventional likenesses of mayors of Knoxville, which now hang in the City-County Building. Thompson was an accomplished musician, director of the city band, widely read, and interested in politics. Also, he was an amateur ornithologist and designed classical gardens. Additionally, he founded Thompson Brothers Commercial Photographers in 1902, a business that would continue to be operated by James (Jim) and his younger brother Robin Thompson. The Thompson Brothers were the most prominent photographers in Knoxville from the 1920s through the 1940s. Their business continues today as Thompson Photo Products. See related Lots #188 and #189 in this sale for Thompson Brothers photography. Sight – 13 1/4" H x 19 3/4" W. Framed – 21 1/4" H x 27 14" W. 20th century. Provenance: Blount County, TN Living Estate. Condition: Painting overall good condition. Stains and toning to matte.
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