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Alexander Harrison


Centurion, 1893–1930

Full Name Thomas Alexander Harrison

Born 17 January 1853 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Died 13 October 1930 in Paris, France

Proposed by Horace W. Robbins, Enoch Wood Perry, and Charles Y. Turner

Elected 4 February 1893 at age forty

Proposer of:

Century Memorial

There is no record of the date when an “American art colony” began to exist at Paris. The Latin quarter of Murger and Du Maurier did not seem to have heard of Americans of the artistic type. But the bohemian artist friends of Mimi and Trilby flourished in the Forties or Fifties, when our own country owned up to little urge for art, and probably it was at least two decades later before anything like an American invasion happened to the quarter. One of our fellow-Centurions was early on the ground. As a personality, Alexander Harrison was little known to New York and the Century; to the “Montparnasse colony,” where he lived and painted for the greater part of half a century, the tall and dignified American was one of its most familiar figures. It was once said that Harrison did not paint much, but “made a hit” with all of his pictures. Half of the remark is true, for Harrison’s canvases now hang in the Luxembourg, the Corcoran Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum, and in the principal public art collections of London, Dresden, Berlin, Chicago and Philadelphia. But it is hardly true that he painted little, when perhaps a hundred canvases bear his signature, with remarkable uniformity of merit.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1931 Century Association Yearbook