>William Harnden Foster

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Excerpt from Animal and Sporting Artists in America by F. Turner Reuter, Jr. © 2008:

Foster was born in Andover, MA, on 22 July 1886. The son of a railroad man who was also an avid wingshooter, he grew up around shotguns and steam locomotives and retained a lifelong interest in both. He studied for three years at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MA) with Frank Benson (qv), Philip Hale, and Edmund Tarbell (qv), and for another three with Howard Pyle (qv) in Wilmington, DE. He worked for Scribner’s, covering the building of the Panama Canal; he wrote and illustrated two articles entitled “The Canal Builder” for that publication in 1910. In 1911 he produced Highways of the Skies, a book of paintings of airplanes. Returning to Massachusetts, he settled in Andover and, after his marriage in 1910, summered in South Freeport, ME. He spent some time sketching and painting steam locomotives. He also worked on shooting subjects, another interest from his earliest years. He was himself an avid upland game and waterfowl shot and a gun dog handler, and often served as a judge in bird dog field trials. He invented and popularized the shotgun sport of skeet shooting. He painted dog portraits and hunting scenes in Massachusetts and in Maine. He was associated for some years with the National Sportsman, a Boston magazine, serving for a time as its editor; he also edited another periodical, Hunting and Fishing. He wrote and illustrated New England Grouse Shooting, one of the great classics of this upland sport. He also provided cover illustrations for his friend L. L. Bean’s mail order catalogue beginning in 1925. Foster’s portraits of the National Champions Sports Pierless Pride, a setter, from 1939, and Lester’s Enjoy’s Wahoo, a pointer, from 1940 appear illustrated in National Field Trial Champions

Foster died while attending a field trial in Scotland, CT, on 30 October 1941. He was living in Andover, MA, at the time.

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