Clinton Oglivie was born in New York in 1838. He studied under James Hart and then devoted himself to landscape painting. In order to complete his studies he traveled to Europe and worked extensively in Paris. In 1864 he was elected an Associate of the National Academy. Some of the paintings that he exhibited included The Path by the River, Valley of the Croton and Near Brummer, Switzerland. His work, In the Woods, was shown at the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia in 1876. Ogilvie was considered a member of the White Mountain School as well as the Hudson River School.
The landscape painter Clinton Ogilvie was born into a wealthy family that had lived in New York since 1745, when William Ogilvie arrived from Scotland.
Clinton Ogilvie studied with James M. Hart, a painter trained in the Dusseldorf tradition. The careful observation and minute detail of Ogilvie's early paintings undoubtedly derived from Hart and John F. Kensett, whose studio Ogilvie often visited. Ogilvie began exhibiting at the National Academy of Design in 1861 and was elected an associate in 1864. During the 1860s, his landscapes of New York, New Jersey amd Connecticut were also exhibited at the Pennslyvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Boston Athenaeum. In 1866 Ogilvie made the first of several long trips to Paris, where he is said to have studied with several different artists. He returned for a year following his marraige in 1872. Then in 1879, he and his wife and child spent four years abroad. In the winters they settled in Nice or Menescenes; he did not, however, adopt the Barbizon style that was popular at the time but retained instead his meticulous finish and detailed treatment. The titles of his paintings suggest that among Ogilvie's favorite places to paint were Ireland, Italy and Switzerland.
He returned to New York in about 1883 and remained there until his death in 1900. He was survived by his wife, Helen Slade Ogilvie, who was a painter and a well-known collector of oriental rugs, and by his daughter, Ida Helen Ogilvie, who became a prominent geologist and teacher. The deanery of Saint John the Divine in New York was built in his memory.
A portrait bust of Clinton Ogilvie by Paul Wayland Bartlett is in the collection of the Metropolitan Musuem.
Bibliography: Clara Erskine Clement and Laurence Hutton, Artists of the Nineteenth Century (Boston, 1880), 2, p. 154. Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography 4 (New York, 1900), p. 563. American Art Annal 4 (1903-1904), p. 143. Obituary notice. Francklyn W. Paris, Personalities in American Art (New York, 1930), pp. 70-82. Discusses the artists family and relationship to Hart and Kensett and describes the development and characteristics of his style. The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography 16 (New York, 1937), p 440.
As seen in American Paintings in the Metropolitan Musuem of Art Volume II Page 527.