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Culmer, Henry L. A.



  • Existence: 1854 - 1914

Biographical History

Henry L. A. Culmer (1854-1914) was a renowned painter of the Utah wilderness and natural wonders in general.

Henry "Harry" Lavender Adolphus Culmer was born on March 25, 1854, in Darington, Kent, England. While young he apprencticed at a print shop. Converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Culmer immigrated to Utah in 1868. He married Susan Annette Wells. He graduated from the University of Deseret (now University of Utah) and studied with painters Alfred Lambourne, Reuben Kirkham, and Thomas Moan in the 1870's. Culmer was a painter of landscapes, panoramas, and rock formations. He was the first professional painter to depict the Alaskan interior and the Natural Bridges in and much of Southern Utah. His paintings played a significant role in promotion and early economic progress of the West. Culmer was an entrepreneur, developer of natural resources, miner, civic leader, playwright and lyricist, editor, and amateur geologist and naturalist. Culmer was also the first president of the Salt Lake Rotary and first president of the Utah Art Institute. His son Henry Wells Culmer is a less notable landscape painter. Culmer died in Salt Lake City in 1914.

Henry L.A. Culmer diary, 1905 (Henry L.A. Culmer)

Artists of Utah, Oct. 1, 2015 (Henry Lavender Adolphus "H.L.A." Culmer; 1854-1914; born in England; studied at the University of Deseret in Salt Lake City; artist, often of Utah landscapes)

University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library Utah Artists Project via WWW, Mar. 31, 2016 (Henry L. A. Culmer; b. Darington, Kent England, in 1854; painter of landscapes, expansice panoramas and rock formations; d. Salt Lake City in 1914; member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints immigrated to Utah 1868; graduated University of Utah or the University of Deseret, studied with Alfred Lambourne and Reuben Kirkham landscape painters in the 1870's; met and influenced by Thomas Moan in the 1870's; first artist to paint the Alaskan interior and the first to paint the Natural Bridges in Southern Utah; painted Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon)

Springville Museum of Art, via WWW, Apr. 4, 2016 (Henry Lavender Adolphus Culmer; significant role in the promotion and early economic progress of the West as an entrepreneur, developer of natural resources, civic leader, descriptive writer and landscape painter)

Keepapitchinin, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints History blog, via WWW, April 4, 2016 (b. March 25, 1854; apprentice in an English print shop; editor of publications; first president of the Salt Lake Rotary; first president of the Utah Art Institute; amateur geologist and naturalist; lyricist for music by Arthur Shepherd and Evan Stephens; playwright; mining)

UPB files, Mar. 31, 2016 (m. Susan Annette Wells (1857-1929); son Henry Wells Culmer was a less notable landscape artist)

Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:

Culmer and Wells family photographs, approximately 1880-1910

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8787 Series 4
Scope and Contents

Red velvet photograph album contains 78 Culmer family photographs. Includes a variety of Newcomb, Morris and Co., and C. R. Savage cabinet cards or CDVs (carte de visites), as well as some from San Francisco photographers. Dated apporximately 1880-1910. The second is a Culmer/Wells family photo album. This contains 23 cabinet cards. Many photographs in both albums are unlabled.

Dates: approximately 1880-1910

Henry L. A. Culmer insurance document

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197231023661]
Identifier: MSS 6827

The Henry L.A. Culmer insurance document consists of an agreement in 1889 between the Home Fire Insurance Company of Utah and Henry and Susan Culmer.

Dates: 1889

Henry L. A. Culmer papers

Identifier: MSS 8787
Content Description

Contains photographs, clippings, scrapbooks, ledgers, correspondence, and poetry produced by Culmer. Materials document Culmer's art production and sales, as well as his work as a mining agent and author. Also includes photograph albums of the Culmer family, and a small collection of watercolors by Culmer and his son H. Wells Culmer. Materials date from between 1874 and 1914.

Dates: approximately 1874-1914

Henry L. A. and H. Wells Culmer artwork, approximately 1874-1914

 Series — Carton 2: Series 3; Series 4 [Barcode: 31197232594090], item: 1
Identifier: MSS 8787 Series 3
Scope and Contents

Contains a box of small original artwork, including one piece by H. L. A. Culmer, but primarily watercolors and sketches by his son, H. Wells Culmer. Dated approximately 1874-1914.

Dates: approximately 1874-1914

Henry L. A. Culmer art papers, approximately 1880-1914

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8787 Series 1
Scope and Contents Contains roughly 300 photographs, newspaper clippings, broadsides, and prints containing artwork by Culmer. In the second half of the album, Culmer notes the work's number in his master inventory, as well as the name of the individual who purchased it. Material dated approximately 1880-1914. The record paintings of H. L. A. Culmer, notebook, is a numbered list of paintings 382-1091, including the date finished, title, medium, size, price, date sold and to whom, remarks, and number. Material...
Dates: approximately 1880-1914

Henry L. A. Culmer letters, writings, and ephemera, approximately 1874-1911

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8787 Series 2
Scope and Contents Letterpress copybook includes an index and Culmer's business and general correspondence. Correspondence regards Culmer's work as a mining agent, with accompanying maps; his efforts to publish a tourism book; and his efforts to write a biography of John T. Cutting of Chicago in 1875. This copybook also includes poetry and newspaper submissions. Dated approximately 1874-1878. Culmer's scrapbook contains newspaper clippings of pieces written about by or about Culmer. Also includes many pieces...
Dates: approximately 1874-1911