Abbott Handerson Thayer
Abbott Handerson Thayer

Celebrity Profile

Name: Abbott Handerson Thayer
Occupation: Painter
Gender: Male
Birth Day: August 12, 1849
Death Date: May 29, 1921 (age 71)
Age: Aged 71
Birth Place: Boston, United States
Zodiac Sign: Leo

Social Accounts

Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
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Abbott Handerson Thayer

Abbott Handerson Thayer was born on August 12, 1849 in Boston, United States (71 years old). Abbott Handerson Thayer is a Painter, zodiac sign: Leo. Find out Abbott Handerson Thayernet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


His studies of camouflage in the animal kingdom led to the development of military camouflage.

Does Abbott Handerson Thayer Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Abbott Handerson Thayer died on May 29, 1921 (age 71).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He was taught by the famed Lemuel Wilmarth at the National Academy of Design.

Biography Timeline


At age 18, he relocated to Brooklyn, New York, to study painting at the Brooklyn Art School and the National Academy of Design. studying under Lemuel Wilmarth. He met many emerging and progressive artists during this period in New York, including his future wife, Kate Bloede and his close friend, Daniel Chester French. He showed work at the newly formed Society of American Artists, and continued refining his skills as an animal and landscape painter. In 1875, after having married Kate Bloede, he moved to Paris, where he studied for four years at the École des Beaux-Arts, with Henri Lehmann and Jean-Léon Gérôme, and where his closest friend became the American artist George de Forest Brush. Returning to New York, he established his own portrait studio (which he shared with Daniel Chester French), became active in the Society of American Painters, and began to take in apprentices.


Thayer was resourceful in his teaching, which he saw as a useful, inseparable part of his own studio work. Among his devoted apprentices were Rockwell Kent, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Richard Meryman, Barry Faulkner (Thayer's cousin), Alexander and William James (the sons of Harvard philosopher William James), and Thayer's own son and daughter, Gerald and Gladys. He also had a profound influence on Dennis Miller Bunker, who, while not a formal pupil, was invited to paint alongside the older artist in 1886, and wrote "Thayer's the first great man I ever knew, and I can't quite get used to it."


After her father died, Thayer's wife lapsed into an irreversible melancholia, which led to her confinement in an asylum, the decline of her health, and her eventual death on May 3, 1891, from a lung infection. Soon after, Thayer married their long-time friend, Emmeline "Emma" Buckingham Beach, whose father Moses Yale Beach owned The New York Sun. He and his second wife spent their remaining years in rural New Hampshire, living simply and working productively. In 1901, they settled permanently in Dublin, New Hampshire, where Thayer had grown up.


Beginning in 1892, he wrote about the function of countershading in nature, by which forms appear less round and less solid through inverted shading, by which he accounted for the white undersides of animals. This finding is still accepted widely, and is sometimes now called Thayer’s Law. However, he became obsessed with the idea that all animals are camouflaged, spoiling his case by arguing that conspicuous birds like peacocks and flamingoes were in fact cryptically colored. He was vigorously attacked for this in a long paper by Theodore Roosevelt.


Eccentric and opinionated, Thayer grew more so as he aged, and his family's manner of living reflected his strong beliefs: the Thayers typically slept outdoors year-round in order to enjoy the benefits of fresh air, and the three children were never enrolled in a school. The younger two, Gerald and Gladys, shared their father's enthusiasms, and became painters. In 1898, Thayer visited St Ives, Cornwall and, with an introductory letter from C. Hart Merrian, the Chief of the US Biological Survey in Washington, D.C., applied to the lord of the Manor of St Ives and Treloyhan, Henry Arthur Mornington Wellesley, the 3rd Earl Cowley, for permission to collect specimens of birds from the cliffs at St Ives. During this latter part of his life, among Thayer's neighbors was George de Forest Brush, with whom (when they were not quarreling) he collaborated on camouflage.

Thayer first became involved in military camouflage in 1898, during the Spanish–American War, when he and his friend George de Forest Brush proposed the use of protective coloration on American ships, using countershading. The two artists did obtain a patent for their idea in 1902, titled "Process of Treating the Outsides of Ships, etc., for Making Them Less Visible", in which their method is described as having been modeled on the coloration of a seagull.


In 1915, during World War I, Thayer made proposals to the British War Office, trying unsuccessfully to persuade them to adopt a disruptively patterned battledress, in place of monochrome khaki, though he was too anxious to attend the meeting in person. Meanwhile, Thayer and Gerome Brush's proposal for the use of countershading in ship camouflage was approved for use on American ships, and a handful of Thayer enthusiasts (among them Barry Faulkner) recruited hundreds of artists to join the American Camouflage Corps.


Despite rapid changes in the art world in the early 20th century, Thayer's reputation remained strong. Yale University offered him an honorary degree in 1916, and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh mounted an exhibition of his work in 1919 that included over fifty paintings. The view from his home of Mt. Monadnock became a favorite subject, and when the area was threatened with development Thayer campaigned successfully for its preservation.


At age 71, Thayer, disabled by a series of strokes, died quietly at home on May 29, 1921.


In October 2008, a documentary film about Thayer's life and work premiered at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Titled Invisible: Abbott Thayer and the Art of Camouflage, it featured a wide selection of his drawings and paintings, archival photographs, historic documents, and interviews with humorist P. J. O'Rourke, Richard Meryman, Jr. (whose father was Thayer's student), camouflage scholar Roy R. Behrens, Smithsonian curator Richard Murray, Thayer's friends and relatives, and others.

Family Life

Abbott spent his childhood in rural New Hampshire where he developed his lifelong fascination with nature. Abbott's first wife was Kate Bloede; after her death, he married Emma Beach.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Abbott Handerson Thayer is 172 years, 10 months and 16 days old. Abbott Handerson Thayer will celebrate 173rd birthday on a Friday 12th of August 2022. Below we countdown to Abbott Handerson Thayer upcoming birthday.


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