Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Joseph Rodefer DeCamp studied briefly at the McMicken School of Design before traveling abroad and enrolling at the Royal Academy in Munich in 1878. In 1883 DeCamp returned to the Ohio area and took teaching positions at art academies in Cleveland, but by 1884, he had settled in Boston where he became an influential teacher, beginning at Wellesley College from 1884 to 1886. In 1897, DeCamp became one of the founding members of the Impressionist group, the Ten American Painters, along with Boston friends Frank W. Benson and Edmund C. Tarbell.
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Disaster struck in 1904 and his studio in the Harcourt Building burned down. Starting from scratch, he offered to paint fellow St. Botolph Club members at a reduced rate, thus establishing himself as one of Boston’s foremost portrait artists. For the next fifteen years, DeCamp went on to capture the likenesses of many notable sitters, including Benjamin Ames Kimball (1905), Charles Henry Taylor (1913), his teacher Frank Duveneck (1911-12) and President Theodore Roosevelt (1908).
By descent though the family of the artist, until 2000
Private collection, Stratham, New Hampshire, 2000 to present
(handwritten) Painted by / Joseph de Camp