Henry Rankin Poore

Title:  “Logging with Oxen”

Artist:  Henry Rankin Poore (American, 1859-1940.)

Medium: Oil on canvas on board.

Size: 27” high x 39” wide.

Date: Circa 1890s.

Signature: Signed lower left.

About:  An Impressionistic painting by  Lyme, Connecticut School artist Henry Rankin Poore.  Condition:  Old relining on board, newly cleaned by David Kimball of Granby, CT, with minor in-painting.

Item  B110



B110 H R Poore web 27 x 39 1b






Henry Rankin Poore Biography

American (1859-1940)

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Henry Rankin Poore became a painter of rural landscape subjects, fox hunting, portraits, and animals.  He has been described as a “spirited and versatile artist, able to paint on diverse themes and noted for his sporting pictures as well as genre and landscape paintings.” (Zellman 544)

He was raised in California and planned to study for the ministry.  However, the art exhibition section of the 1874 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia re-directed his goals.

In the early 1880s, he traveled to New Mexico and Colorado, and was the first American artist to have a painting published with a reference to the Taos Pueblo.  This depiction was a burro train leaving the Pueblo and is recorded as being done in 1882.  His mining illustrations of Colorado from that same trip were published in Harper’s Weekly.  In 1888, he is listed as having been in Taos again.

To insure his art training, he studied at the National Academy of Design in New York for a year and then with Peter Moran at the Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts.  He became a popular painter during this time of dogs, hunting and western mining, and made enough money from his art sales to study at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1883.  That year until 1885, he studied in Paris with William Bouguereau at the Academie Julian and was also in Paris again in 1892 following a foxhunting and sketching trip to England.

In 1890, he became a special agent for the United States Census Bureau to illustrate the “Report on the Condition of Fifteen Pueblos of New Mexico in 1890.”  Collaborating with him were artists Peter Moran, Julian Scott, Gilbert Gaul and Walter Shirlaw.

Henry Rankin Poore was a long-time active artist in Philadelphia, and from 1890, taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  During this period, he turned his painting subjects to more ordinary genre—humble persons going about everyday life.  This work has been described as being similar to that of the Barbizon painter Jean Millet (1814-1875).  Poore also became part of the Art Colony at Old Lyme, Connecticut where, to get his rural landscape subjects, he constructed a portable studio drawn by oxen.   He then created pictures of the oxen pulling farm laborers on hay carts. He lived at the end of his life in Orange, New Jersey where he died in 1940.