THOMPSON, WRIGHT, REICHOW
Posted By: Volunteer
Date: 3/20/2011 at 17:17:15
A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN
EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY,
EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc.
Chicago and New York
HIRAM H. THOMPSON, Davenport artist, painter of portraits and murals, was
born in a family of artists, and from earliest boyhood had no other thought
than that he would follow the family traditions in the use of the pencil
Mr. Thompson was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, February 18, 1885, son of
Thomas Edward and Rhoda (Wright) Thompson. His mother is now deceased. His
father, a resident of Chicago, has been a scenic painter for many years. Hiram
Thompson has a brother, Frank Wright Thompson, who has also made a
creditable record as a scenic artist in the City of Chicago.
Hiram H. Thompson attended school in St. Louis. After leaving school he
began his serious study of art as a profession and means of livelihood. He
attended the Chicago Art Institute and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and
later studied privately under Walter Ufer, N. A., who took a great deal of
interest in his talented pupil and regarded him as one of the most
promising students he ever had. Mr. Thompson while living in Chicago became a
member of the Palette and Chisel Club, membership in which organization is a
coveted honor among artists.
On removing to Davenport Mr. Thompson engaged in the field of commercial
art and for twelve years handled the work of the U. N. Roberts Company. He
now has a spacious studio in the Davenport Turner Hall Building, where he
handles such nationally known accounts as Montgomery Ward & Company, the
Gordon-Van Tine Company, the Ferry-Hanly Advertising Company, the L. W. Ramsey
Company, the Cribben Sexton Company, the Rock Island Stove Company, the
Hydraulic Pressed Brick Company, etc.
Although the larger portion of Mr. Thompson's accounts and commissions
come to him from the larger cities of the East and West, he makes his home in
Iowa, preferring the beauty and peace of Iowa's rivers and hills to the
hectic existence of the large cities.
Mr. Thompson's training and ambitions have been toward the painting of
portraits. During the past several years he has come into the realization of
his ambitions, having brilliantly executed a number of portrait commissions.
Chief among these were the portraits of Judge Charles McGhee Waterman,
former justice of the Supreme Court of Iowa, and Dr. Clarence Theodore
Lindley, donor to the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery. This latter commission was
by the City of Davenport after Mr. Thompson won the L. W. Ramsey award for
the best work in any medium with his portrait "Louise."
Many thousands of Davenport people have greatly admired what is perhaps
his largest piece of work, the mural painting depicting the signing of the
Indian treaty between the chief of the Sac and Fox tribes and General Winfield
Scott, an event that might be considered the cornerstone of Davenport's
history. This painting occupies a prominent place in the handsome American
Commercial Bank Building.
Mr. Thompson is a trustee of the Davenport Friends of Art. He is the 1930
master of Roosevelt Lodge No. 626, A. F. and A. M. also belongs to the
Consistory and is an Elk. He married, in 1902, Bertha Reichow, a native of
Chicago. Their children are Dorothy, Janette and Hiram H., Jr.
Scott Biographies maintained by Janet L. Rossmiller-Dolan.
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