Stephen Salisbury Tuckerman

1830 - 1904

Stephen Salisbury Tuckerman was born in Boston, a son of Gustavus Tuckerman (1785–1860), a successful merchant, and Jane (Francis) Tuckerman. Salisbury, as he preferred to be called, lived and painted here on Cape Ann during the mid-19th century and was among the many American artists who also traveled abroad to work in the late 1800s.

As a young man, Salisbury Tuckerman was introduced to the world of shipping and commerce, making several voyages to Calcutta and India on family-owned ships. His true interests and talents, however, rested in the world of art. In 1855, he married Laura Willis Bumstead whose family owned the Boston firm of Josiah F. Bumstead & Company, one of this country's early manufacturers and importer of fine paper hangings (wallpaper). By 1859, Tuckerman had turned away from the world of commerce, was employed at the New England School of Design in Boston and living with his young family in Boston.

Following the death of artist Fitz Henry Lane in 1865, Salisbury Tuckerman and his family occupied Lane's house on Duncan's Point here in Gloucester for a short period of time. A letter written by one of Tuckerman's grandsons and preserved within the archives of the Cape Ann Museum, makes note of this fascinating bit of information: "Salisbury, with his wife and five small children, moved from Beacon Hill, Boston to Gloucester and for a few years, following the death of Fitz Hugh [sic] Lane, lived in the latter's stone house on Duncan's Point. There, their sixth child—a son—was born 6/4/1866." How these living arrangements were arrived at and how, if at all, Tuckerman and Lane knew each other, remains a mystery. By 1869, Salisbury Tuckerman and his family had moved from Duncan's Point to a newly constructed house on Bond's Hill just off the main road which ran between Gloucester and Magnolia.

Salisbury Tuckerman was a friend and associate of artist William Morris Hunt (1824–1879), a well-known Boston painter and art teacher. Tuckerman is known to have spent time painting with Hunt in and around Cape Ann and along the North Shore. During the summer of 1875, the two spent time painting in West Newbury, traveling in Hunt's van, a horse-drawn wagon that had been covered over, fashioned into a caravan of sorts, which carried the artists' supplies and afforded them shelter from inclement weather as they traveled the countryside sketching and painting.

Salisbury Tuckerman and his wife, Laura continued to live in Gloucester until her death in this city in 1886. The artist remarried several years later but no longer seems to have called Cape Ann home on a permanent basis.

Selected works by Stephen Salisbury Tuckerman

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