Hugh Henry Breckenridge
1870 - 1937
An innovative painter and influential art teacher, Hugh Henry Breckenridge was an established member of the Philadelphia art scene at the turn of the 20th century. Trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at the Academie Julian in Paris, Breckenridge was a champion of experimentation whose work was influenced throughout his life by emerging artistic movements: Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, post-Impressionism, Abstraction and Modernism. Color and composition were his métier.
In addition to teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy, Breckenridge ran a very popular summer art school on Gloucester's Rocky Neck from 1920 until his death in 1937. The school was located in what is now The Studio Restaurant, overlooking Smith's Cove. Among his students were Allan Freelon, Sidney Raynes and Harriet Randall Lumis. Breckenridge's classes were large and primarily worked outside, moving inside only when the weather was bad and for painting critiques.
Breckenridge was enamored with Cape Ann and in a 1926 interview proclaimed that the area had "everything the artist wants—everything except the mountains."