Baltimore boasted a thriving art community in the second half of the nineteenth century. Even in the midst of the Civil War, the Maryland Academy provided professional training for aspiring artists and the Maryland Art Association regularly exhibited artists' works. By far, the most popular of Baltimore's numerous successful artists at mid-century was Andrew Way, who mastered not only his craft, but the marketplace as well.
Born in Washington, D.C., Way studied to be a portraitist under John Peter Frankenstein in Cincinnati and Alfred Jacob Miller in Baltimore. He continued his education in both Paris and Florence before returning to Baltimore to launch his career. Way was able to earn a living as a portrait painter, but received little notoriety. At the encouragement of visiting artist Emanuel Leutze, he began pursuing still life painting, abandoning faces for fruit, flowers, fish, and bowl. In a short time, Way became known up and down the eastern seaboard for his still lifes, particularly his palpable, neoclassical renderings of grapes.
In addition to his own work, Way fostered the careers of others as a partner in Way and Perrigo, a Baltimore art gallery that displayed the efforts of such artists as Hugh Bolton Jones and Arthur Quartley.
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