Artist Bio & Timeline

Artist Bio & Timeline

Martin Johnson Heade (1819–1904)

Martin Johnson Heade traveled the world to capture the beauty of nature, from the coastlines of New England to the harbors and interiors of the Caribbean and Latin America. Follow his travels and milestones in the timeline below.

1819 Born in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania
1830s Trains with local folk artist Edward Hicks and paints early portraits
1848–49 Extended trip to Europe; exposure to the art and artists further advances his artistic progress
1850 Visits Midwestern cities—St. Louis, Chicago and Madison—in search of fresh material and commissions
1858 Moves to New York City and establishes permanent studio—abandons portraiture for real passions, landscape and still-life painting
1859–63 Paints his earliest dated marsh scene; briefly moves to Rhode Island and then Massachusetts to concentrate on marine and wetland subjects
1863–70 Travels three times to Latin America and the Caribbean—Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Panama—making sketches and studies for later works
1883 Moves permanently to St. Augustine, Florida, where the sensuality of his late still lifes—critically compared to “odalisques on a couch”—did not go unnoticed by Victorian audiences