William Matthew Prior
WILLIAM MATTHEW PRIOR (1806-1873)
is regarded as one of the most successful and influential nineteenth century folk painters. By age 18, he was painting professionally, traveling between Bath, Maine, his hometown, and Portland. Around 1840, Prior moved to Boston with his Hamblin in-laws where the group formed the basis of what is today called the Prior/Hamblin school. They first resided at 12 Chambers Street and then Marion Street in East Boston. By 1848, Prior had his own residence and studio at 36 Trenton Street. William Matthew Prior is particularly noted for his portraits of children.