Saint-Louis, October 19th 1849 – 1924, Worcester

Thomas Allen was born in Saint-Louis, Missouri. His ancestors tookpart of the foundation of Windsor, Connecticut, following the Mayflower évent. Son of a member of Congress and président of the Missouri–Pacific railway, Thomas Allen studied art in his native city of Saint-Louis, at the Washington University and, then, travelled a lot. He spent a vacation with J.W Pattison on a foot tour through the Rocky Mountains. This expérience encouraged his teacher and determined the pupil to study art. He became a painter of animals, landscapes and a caricaturist.
In 1871, Thomas Allen travelled to Paris but found the timing inappropriate for arts in the wake of the 1870 french-prussian war. He, then, went to Düsseldorf and, in 1872, entered in the local Royal Academy where he stayed for four years. In 1877, he was told that he was prepared to open a studio of his own. His vacations has been spent in visiting other cities and studying art in other countries, including Holland, Belgium, England and France.
In 1878 he took up his résidence in Ecouen with his wife Eleanor Godard Whitney (married on June 30th 1880, dead at Ecouen on May 14th 1882 after giving birth to Eleanor Whitney Allen on April 18th 1882) where he enjoyed the companionship of Pierre Edouard Frere, Luigi Chialiva, Auguste Schenck and many other congénial spirits of the local colony of artists. In October 23th 1884, he remaried with Alice Ranine (1862-1949). They had a son named Robert Fletcher Allen (1892-1903) and a daughter, Dorothy Fletcher Allen Preston (1898-1987).
Back in the US, Thomas Allen travelled on the West Coast and Texas where he painted « Evening in the San Antonio market place » rewarded at the 1882 Salon de Paris. The same year, he definitively settled in Boston where he made a long and remarquable carreer.
Thomas Allen became président of the Boston Paint and Clay club and of the Boston Society of water-color painters.
His paintings are exhibited at the Berkshire museum, Josly art museum, Boston Fine-Arts museum, San Antonia museum of Art, Metropolitan museum of Art and Saint-Louis Art

For further information, please read the book “L’Ecole d’Ecouen, une colonie de peintres au XIXe siècle” (bilingual French-English).