THOMAS B. HIGHAM

American B. 1952

BIOGRAPHY

 

B. 1952 in Hyannis, MA; currently lives in Hyannis

 

Thomas Higham is renowned for his evocative and timeless paintings of bucolic Cape Cod. His family cultivated creativity in a variety of fields, and his father was a master boat builder at Crosby Boat Yard. This proved very fortuitous for the young Higham, who began to construct, paint and draw the world around him. He was also exposed to the work of Andrew Wyeth and aspired to accurately describe what he loved, to be passionate about his subject matter in every moment of every day. Higham went on to study at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and received a BFA in painting at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, MA. After exhibiting his work while maintaining a vocation as a skilled carpenter for over fifteen years, the artist decided to place his entire focus on art.  Impressively, several of his solo exhibitions at Tree’s Place were sold out before they even opened.

Higham’s paintings not only look weathered but feel weathered. Time seems to pass within the picture plane, and the viewer moves into a world seemingly pure and untouched, a Cape before tourism and the contemporary whir of immediate and obsolescent technology.

 

"Tom Higham has a special talent for bringing back the way Cape Cod never was, but we all think it used to be. The sun is shining at exactly the right angle. The flowers are open just the right amount. Everything is perfect, but it doesn't look hokey. " -Julian T. Baird, The Cahoon Museum of American Art Resource Library

 

His acrylic works are of textured buildings and boats that inherently have a very tactile and tightly rendered quality while the surrounding landscape is roughhewn and unconfined, like a memory, sharp and faded all at once. Conversely, Higham’s watercolors are looser and more gestural, enjoying the natural limitations of the unrepentant medium. These pieces are also intimate and inventive, leaving one to contemplate what is real and what is supposed. Needing current and relatively untouched tableaux for inspiration, Higham has been venturing to Maine over the last few years. The sojourns to the north have produced stirring new paintings and are contributing to the artist’s less defined approach as of late.

 

Thomas Higham is currently represented by Collins Galleries, and his work has been featured in a number of museum exhibitions, most notably a retrospective entitled "Past Perfect: The Landscapes of Thomas B. Higham” at the Cahoon Museum of American Art in 2006. He has also been featured in articles in The Review and Cape Cod Life as well as in Debbie Forman’s Contemporary Cape Cod Artists: Images of Land and Sea. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. 2013