An oil painting of Horatio N. Beach, prominent Brockport resident, has been preserved as part of the Emily L Knapp Museum’s Adopt a Picture Program. The painting is dated June 20, 1858 and was signed by Jerome D. Fielding, a local artist.
Horatio N. Beach (1826-1896) came to Brockport from Connecticut in 1856, and was widely involved in public life. He’s most often associated with the newspaper he established in 1856, the Brockport Republic, which he ran until 1871, when his son, Lorenzo Beach, assumed the role of Editor and Publisher. Aside from publishing the Brockport Republic, Horatio Beach was a driving force in both Brockport’s business and foundational history. Beach developed new streets, organized the Brockport Rural Cemetery Association, established the Union Agricultural Society at Brockport, and created a free library that circulated hundreds of books to the Brockport community. The recently restored Soldiers’ Monument on Owens Road was the brainchild of Horatio N. Beach, conceived to honor Brockport soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War. Beach also had an international presence, serving as US Consul to Mexico, Ecuador, and Venezuela 1880s. Horatio Beach died in his home at 69 State Street on September 21, 1896.
Jerome D. Fielding, a Brockport Artist, was born circa 1822 in Sweden, NY. Few pieces of his artwork date back to 1840, but the majority of his professional works date between 1858 and 1867. In one of JD Fielding’s early advertisements, he encourages clients to preserve their likeness by providing paper photographs, Daguerreotypes or Ambrotypes “while Health paints the cheeks with ruby glow” (Brockport Advertiser, 1860-1862), from which Fielding would produce a portrait using oils on canvas. He opened his home at 8 State Street, noted in advertisements as “nearly opposite the Presbyterian Church” (and since torn down) for potential clients to see samples of his work. Fielding suffered from tuberculosis for many years before his death on January 24th, 1870 at the age of 47.
Representatives from the Emily L Knapp Museum will be at the Seymour Library’s 7th Annual After Hours @ the Library from 7 to 10 pm on November 7th, 2015 if you would like to adopt a photo.
Also, photographs and artwork like the painting of Horatio N. Beach can be adopted by visiting the Knapp Museum during our open hours (Tuesdays from 6-8 pm, Wednesdays from 2-4 and 6-8 pm to choose the specific photograph you’d like to preserve. Each adopted photo will have a label noting who has preserved the photo or if the photo was preserved in memory of a loved one.
If you’d like to adopt a photo, but are unable to visit the Knapp Museum, we are happy to accept donations of any amount by check. Please specify “Adopt a Picture Program” in the memo line. We will choose a photo to have restored in your name.
By taking the necessary steps now, our valuable collection will be here for your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to enjoy.