The Thayers

Abbott Handerson Thayer. left, and his children by Kate Bloede and Emma Beach, 2nd from the right, -after Kate's death. The two women were friends from their student days and Abbott met Emma through his first wife. Emma was around a lot. Abbott & family spent a good deal of time living in Dublin, New Hampshire, on a benefactor's estate and were good friends with the Dewings. The Dewings and Cecilia Beaux spent time in the Dublin area as well.

Two of Thayer's paintings

One of Emma Beach's Paintings


Thayer's interest in the natural world expanded to include scientific observations of animal camouflage, or "protective coloration." The painting below illustrates Thayer's ideas of nature as an artist using color and shadow to disguise animals in the environment. With his son, Gerald, Thayer published his theories in Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom (1909), and he promoted the idea of camouflage for soldiers and ships in World War I.

Copperhead Snake on Dead Leaves, 1903, collaboration with Rockwell Kent, Gerald H. Thayer and Emma Beach Thayer, watercolor, 24.3 x 39.7 cm, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the heirs of Abbott H. Thayer