Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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HOIT, ALBERT GALLATIN, visiting portrait artist; b. Carroll, Sandwich township, N.H., 13 Dec 1809, s/o Daniel Hoit and Sally Flanders; m. 1839, Susan Hanson, of North Conway, N.H.; d. Jamaica Plain, Mass., 18 Dec 1856.

Albert Gallatin Hoit was educated at Dartmouth College (BA 1829), and although he had no artistic training he spent the rest of his life working as a portraitist. His earliest work was done as an itinerant artist in the towns and cities of New Hampshire and Maine. He came to New Brunswick in 1836 as a visitor but accepted an invitation to stay and paint portraits of Lieut. Gov. Sir Archibald Campbell and members of his family. This was the first of many working visits to the province, and the Campbell paintings were the first of scores of portraits of New Brunswick subjects executed by him over the course of his career.

Hoit finished twenty paintings in Fredericton in the early months of 1837 and had another twelve commissioned on the Miramichi. These included the well-known portrait of Francis Peabody seated in his study with a view of the Miramichi River showing through the window, and portraits of William Abrams and his wife, Sarah Triglohan; of their daughter Jane Abrams, widow of Christopher Clarke; and of Richard Blackstock Jr and his wife Frances Amelia.

The art critic Roslyn M. Rosenfeld states that Hoit was "a deft colorist, capable of very naturalistic effects, and particularly sensitive in his reading of character." The reason he was in so much demand in New Brunswick was because there was no artist of equivalent skill in the province. His personal ambition was to gain acceptance in artistic circles in Boston. He had achieved this goal when he settled there around 1839 and joined the Boston Artists' Society.

Hoit travelled in Europe in the early 1840s. He was in New Brunswick again in 1847 and 1848 and in Halifax in 1849. He died at age forty-seven, survived by his wife, Susan Hanson, and a six-year-old son.


[b] LDS-IGI [m/d] Heard / Gleaner 8 Aug 1837; Rosenfeld