Studying with various masters and during his European travels, landscape painter Walter Launt Palmer would receive recognition early in his career as an outstanding artist of great potential. He would easily meet the expectations of such awards, receiving medals and recognition from America's most prestigious art clubs and associations throughout the majority of his career.
Born in 1854 to the famous sculptor Erastus Dow Palmer, young Walter would grow up with family friends such as Frederick E. Church and John Kensett. It was Church who provided Palmer with is first formal instruction. He would then journey to France and Italy, studying with Caroulus Duran in Paris and first experiencing the Impressionists. He would meet the expatriate artists of Europe as well, becoming a particularly close friend of John Singer Sargent.
He returned to America in the late 1870s and established a studio in New York at that time. By 1887 he was receiving his first recognition and awards, including the Second Halgarten Prize of the National Academy for his unusual application of blue shadow in a winter scene - which was one of the first times the technique had been used.
He went on to receive more awards and recognition, including attention for his Venetian paintings as well. By 1900 he had earned a reputation equal to that of many of the European masters of the day. When he was sixty one, Palmer began spending his summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts, which by that time had a popular and thriving arts community.
Many visitors were surprised to see the painter at his easel - usually placed on a dock along the bay, painting images of winter chill and shadow, while the artist basked in the summer sun. Palmer remained a dedicated winter landscape painter, however throughout the majority of his career.
He died in Albany, New York in 1932. His work fell out of favor shortly after his death, as the clean and spare lines of the early twentieth century began to take precedence over the earlier realist and impressionist works. Fortunately, the value of his skills have found a resurgence in the past few decades and his work is once again valued by museums and private collectors around the world.