Frederick T. Vance, Artist
Frederick T. Vance was born on Second Street in Geneseo on April 1, 1840. He was educated at Temple Hill Academy and after graduation taught art at the District School on Center Street (now the Livingston County Museum). When the Civil War broke out he enlisted and was made adjutant of the 104th regiment. In 1862, after the Battle of Cedar Mountain, Union forces were retreating. Vance, ill with typhoid fever and too weak to move, was captured. For several months he was presumed dead by his family and friends, but was eventually exchanged and brought home.
Vance then began a career of drawing and painting. After studying in the best schools in New York and Paris, he established a studio in New York City. His work, including scenes of the Catskills, New England and Scotland, as well as the Genesee Valley received favorable reviews. The following is a portion of a letter written by a New York critic to the Rochester papers: "A View of the Wadsworth Meadows is very excellent. The grand elm, long distance of meadow, and the quiet feeling of such a view, give faithful evidence of close observation of that splendid locality. Vance has studied nature long and well, and I believe he is laying the foundation of a successful future. May he obtain that prosperity due to a true worker, and the valley of the Genesee, which produced him, will at no distant day hold his name in high esteem."
In 1882 Frederick Vance was stricken with paralysis and he returned to Geneseo. After a second attack in 1884, his right side was left powerless and he was forced to give up his painting forever and enter the Soldier's Home in Bath, where he remained until his death in 1892.
The exhibition, "Up and Down the River," which ran September 25th to October 16th (1977) in the Gallery of the Brodie Fine Arts Building, featured several of Vance's scenes, including the above-mentioned A View of the Wadsworth Meadows, now owned by the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery.