James Britton: Connecticut Artist

By Nancy Stula



(above: James Britton, Drying Sumac, Manchester, CT, 1934, oil on cardboard, 8 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches. Private collection)



1 Britton's unpublished autobiography, p. 184, titled: Self Portrait: An Artist's World, edited by Ursula Roberts Britton, 1994.

2 Ibid., pp. 9-10.

3 Ibid., p. 20. Britton adds: "For years I considered myself fortunate to be out of it [New York City] and I likely would never have gone there to live if the Damnable War hadn't made it so difficult to live anywhere that I grasped at New York in sheer desperation." ( p. 21)

4 Britton exhibited at the 1918 show at M. Knoedler & Co. Galleries with George Bellows, John Sloan, William Glackens, and Robert Henri, among others.

5 Autobiography, p. 10.

6 Britton had three children: James Jerome, born 1915; Teresa, born 1916; and Ruth born in 1919.

7 Op. cit., p.156.

8 The Brittons were at 85 Idylwood Avenue in Waterbury in 1926 and at 89 Idylwood in 1928. In 1929 their address was 26 Thomaston Street, Hartford. Later they lived at several addresses in Manchester: from at least 1930-1932 they lived at 98 Church Street; in 1933 at 66 School Street; 1934-35 at 165 Oakland Street; and finally in 1936 they lived on Park Street.

9 Autobiography, p. 5.

10 Ibid., p. 6.

11 Britton also created an Index of his landscape paintings of which there are more than 600 works. Each thumbnail is so carefully detailed and accurate that most can be matched to the original paintings.

11 Ibid.

13 Ibid.

14 Ibid., p. 184.

15 In his diary entry for Sunday, August 16, 1925, Britton wrote that his wife "Carol up early to take the children on the boat to New London again, this time an excursion returning at 5," indicating that they often took the ferry across Long Island Sound to visit family at home in Connecticut. Britton's diary is in the collection of the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.

(above: James Britton, Oak Grove Farm, Manchester, CT, 1934, oil on cardboard, 8 x 10 inches. Private collection)


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