Charles William MacCord [1852-1923]
Oil on board
8 x 10 inches
Signed at lower left.
Born and raised in Bridgeport, CT, Charles William MacCord was a businessman, poet, painter, and engraver. Both Charles “Charley” and his sister, Mary Nicholena MacCord, were active Impressionist painters in the Connecticut and Massachusetts area.
Charles began in business working with his father, a well-known dry goods merchant, and his business partner, John C. Copeland, at Copeland and McCord (later bought out by Smith-Murray Co). Charles loved writing and left the family business to pursue telegraph editing at the local newspaper, The Bridgeport Post. He was known as a “real character” and even held as diverse a job as a carpet dealer in New York City’s Wall Street area.
In 1887, at the age of 35, Charles published a book of visually related poems entitled “Reminscent [sic], Impressions and Pallette [sic] Scraping”. The book contained poems like “Landscape” (excerpt):
…”Warm tinted clouds illume the sky
Their edges tinged with opal fire; I stroll through tangled brake and brier
And see the distant streamlet vie
With em’lous tones the heavens to drown.
The herbage clad in richest brown
In sullen mood is trembling shy.”…
As painters, both Charles and his sister Mary were best known for their Impressionist ability to convey ephemeral weather and atmospheric effects within their paintings. They used short brush strokes of paint to achieve a heightened light effect. Mary was additionally skilled with her use of color. Charles, unlike many of his well known collegues did not study painting in Europe and trained exclusively in the United States. The MacCord’s painted landscape and some genre works. Both artists signed their name “MacCord” which was different than their actual family name McCord.
The duo was very close, living together, and traveling to England, Ireland, France, Italy and along the New England coast including: Gloucester, Rockport, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and Cape Ann.
Charles was a member of the Salmagundi Club, Lotus Club of New York, the National Academy of Design, the Seaside and Contemporary Clubs, Bridgeport, CT, and was a member of the Society of Independent Artists. After his death in 1923, having suffered with sickness toward the end of his life, his sister set up a fund at the Salmagundi Club to aid “sick, needy and disabled artists” with a $10,000 endowment in 1955 as part of her will.
– Original biography written by David Smernoff, From Here To Antiquity, October 6, 2016.
– “A Legacy of Art: Paintings and Sculptures by Artist Life Members of the National Arts Club” by Carol Lowrey, Hudson Hills, 2007.
– The Bridgeport Post, Bridgeport, CT, “316,801 Is Value of M’Cord Estate: Will of Artist Gives Funds to Hospital, Social Agencies”, Saturday, November 5, 1955, page 1.
– The Bridgeport Telegram, Bridgeport, CT, “Sister Inherits Estate of Poet, Charles MacCord”, Friday, February 9, 1923, page 6.
– The Bridgeport Telegram, Bridgeport, CT, “Maccord, Dead Here, Noted as Poet-Painter”, Friday, January 9, 1923, Volume 32, number 8, page 1.
– The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, NY, “Stockbridge Plans Series of Dances”, Sunday, June 25, 1922, page 71.
– New York Herald, New York, NY, “Holiday Dances in the Berkshires”, Sunday, September 5, 1920, page 29.
– The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, NY, “Brooklynites in Stockbridge”, Sunday, June 25, 1916.
– National Academy of Design, ca.1916-1923
– Society of Independent Artists
– 1920 Stockbridge Exhibition
– Lotus Club of New York
– Salmagundi Club, New York, NY
– National Academy of Design, New York, NY
– Seaside and Contemporary Clubs (Bridgeport, CT)
– Society of Independent Artists, New York, NY