Edward Augustus Brackett – Biography

Below is the brief biography of Edward Augustus Brackett, an American author, a sculptor and an environmentalist that fought for the conservation of nature and wildlife.

Early Life of Edward Augustus Brackett

Edward Augustus Brackett - November 1863
A portrait of Edward Augustus Brackett

Edward Augustus Brackett was born on the 1st of October, 1819 in Vallasborough, Maine, United States. His parents were Reuben and Elizabeth Brackett. The family moved to Cincinnati in the year 1841 where Edward started working as a sculptor. He was a self-trained sculptor, however, he began his career in the year 1838.

Art Career of Edward Augustus Brackett

In the following year of 1839, he displayed many busts that he made at the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts. These were portrait busts of Charles Sumner, John Brown, William Lloyd and many more. Today, these are exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum.

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Bust of Charles Sumner by Edward Augustus Brackett

After the exhibition at the Cincinnati Academy, he moved to New York City. He spent two years in New York after which he moved to Boston. There he was referred to William Cullen Bryant and lived in Winchester, Massachusetts back at the time. There he built himself an octagonal house called the ‘Edward A Brackett House’.

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Bust of Washington Allston by Edward Augustus Brackett

His most well-known work of art was the ‘Shipwrecked Mother and Child’ which was exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum in 1852. It is a sculpture made by him in 1851 that is the portrayal of a lifeless woman with her son. Its strong authenticity is appreciated even today at the Worcester Museum of Art.

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‘Shipwrecked Mother and Child’ by Edward Augustus Brackett in 1852 at the Worcester Museum of Art today.

He worked on the bust of John Brown while he was in West Virginia during the raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859. A critic described his work to be ‘imaginative but real in a disturbing manner’.

In the year 1873, he gave up sculptures and got involved in other aspects. Thereafter, he spent much of his time writing poetry.

Interests in Horticulture and Geography

Edward Augustus Brackett served for a full year in the civil war and then turned his interests towards horticulture. He began gardening and maintaining species of flowers and shrubs. Other than this, he also started breeding different species of fish.

He became involved in the scientific breeding of species of fish and became the supervisor of inland fisheries. In 1873, he was the head of this department. He maintained this position for a long time in until1894 he was made the head of Massachusetts Fish and Game Commission.

For many years, he painted fishes. A series of pictures of fish species were exhibited at the Crystal Palace in London for the Grand Exhibition.

Books written by Edward Augustus Brackett

Edward Augustus Brackett wrote the ‘Twilight Hours or Leisure Moments of an Artist’ in 1845. The book is full of poetries by Edward and is culturally considered to be important and a basis of civilization.

He also wrote ‘The World We Live In’ in the year 1903 when he was 84 years old. It is categorized as a ‘self-help’ book.

Another book was ‘My House, Chips the Builder Threw Away’ published by Gorham Press in the year 1904.

His final book was published in the year of his death. It was called ‘Materialized Apparitions: If Not Beings From Another Life, What Are They?’. It was published again by Gorham Press in  1908.

Personal Life of Edward Augustus Brackett

Edward Augustus Brackett was the elder brother of the well-known American portrait painter – Walter M Brackett.

Death and Legacy of Edward Augustus Brackett

Edward passed away out of old age on the 15th of March, 1908. He died in Massachusetts, United States. He was an artist with many colours as in interests and was ecstatic about trying new things all his life. He was known for his creativity and the portrayal of detail along with his good qualities of leadership and wit.

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