William Langson Lathrop – 2006 Honored Citizen

STHS_Lathrop_WilliamWilliam Langson Lathrop was born in the Midwest in 1859. He moved to the village of Phillips Mill in 1898. An established landscape artist, William mobilized other area artists and was largely responsible for the establishment of the Pennsylvania Impressionist art colony centered in the area around New Hope. The talent and fame of these artists made the New Hope-Solebury area the center of the arts in the region.

He began his art career in New York City in the late 1870s as an illustrator and part-time etcher, both pursuits that earned him little money. In the late 1880s William traveled to Europe where he met and married his wife. Returning to America, he endured financial difficulty and briefly turned away from art before friends convinced him to enter his watercolors in a prestigious New York show. There William received the top prize and a glowing review in the New York Times, and his career was launched.

William received a gold medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco, CA, in 1915, which showcased works by many of the major American artists of the time. Today, his paintings are in numerous museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. His landscapes in both oil and water color are highly sought after.

William served as the first president of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association, which, to this day, still holds juried art exhibits first started by William. He lived in Phillips Mill for almost 40 years.

William Lathrop passed away in 1938.

Click the name to listen to oral history interviews of William Lathrop, Anne Goodell Lathrop, the daughter-in-law of William Lathrop, and Nora Lathrop Grimison and Jill Lathrop Karhumaa, granddaughters of William Lathrop.