Artist’s Studio of Allen B. Doggett

Artist’s Studio of Allen B. Doggett

American artist and educator Allen B. Doggett, the beloved chairman of the Art Department at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn for nearly 30 years from 1896-1926, pursued photography as an aid to his early career as an illustrator and artist.

Attributed but not confirmed to be the work of Doggett, this cyanotype photograph ca. 1890-1900, contact-printed from a 5 x 7” negative, is believed to show one of his early studios. Figural paintings including a large-scale male nude holding a staff can be seen in the background at far right of frame along with another figure just to the right of the window. Small compositions are arranged at a table at right along with some miniature classical sculptures, along with a portfolio of work propped against a chair at center. To the right of the window is a composition (drawing or wash study) of a young child attempting to stand, which leans against an easel that is the central focus of another cyanotype of this studio posted to this archive. Although this print contains no written identifying information, a platinum print obtained with it showing a different studio has the address of 466 E. 17th St. written in graphite on the print verso-the artist’s known address in Brooklyn, New York from at least 1905-1914 while he taught at Erasmus Hall.

Timeline: Allen B. Doggett  1860-1926


1860: born Allen Barrows Doggett on June 18 in Groveland, Massachusetts.

1877-1896: Student, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass., Cowles Art School, Zepho Art Club, 1877-1887; Student Koehler Art School, Munich, 1887; Student Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, Anatomy Lectures, University of Munich, 1887-1890; Student of Anatomy (dissection), Long Island College, 1894; Art Department, Forbes Litho. Mfg. Co., Boston, 1877-83; In charge of Department, 1885-87; In charge of Art Department, Crump Lithograph Co., Montclair, X. J., 1883-85; Art Department of Harper & Bros., New York, 1892-95; Trip to Holland in search of material for the illustration of book, “Hans Brinker,” for Chas. Scribner’s Sons, 1895; General illustration work; Teacher of Art, Erasmus Hall Academy, Miss Hawley’s School, Flatbush, Mrs. Perkins’ School, Flatbush, 1895-96; Teacher of Art, Erasmus Hall High School. Sept.. 1896.

1885: Marries Mary Letitia Rogers, originally from Texas. (1863-1946)

1887: “Allen B. Doggett was for some years with the Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company, Boston, Mass., and resided at Charlestown, Mass. His talent for artistic work was there developed, and he left Boston for study in Europe in 1887.” “He was accepted by the “Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Munich,” which was highly complimentary to his ability, as there were but ten vacancies and one hundred and twenty-five contestants for them.” (Doggett-Daggett Family Records)

1889-90: “He (Doggett) returned to America in the summer of 1889, after which he remained in Bryan, Ohio, until September, 1890, when he opened a studio on Fourteenth street, near Fifth avenue, in New York City.”  (Doggett-Daggett Family Records)

1893: From: The Year’s Art; as recorded in The Quarterly Illustrator: A. B. Doggett is an illustrator who is not afraid of multiple themes; he would as soon be versatile as not. His method of drawing is unhackneyed, and his humor is neither vulgar nor super-refined. If one may read a man by his work, Mr. Doggett believes in the livableness of life and the picturesqueness of the present period and the people who make it. (p. 270)

1895: Thirty illustrations from photographs by Doggett are used in the September issue illustrating an article on the Munich suburbs published in The Monthly Illustrator.

– New York publisher Scribner’s sends the artist to Holland where he makes sketches and gets photographs that would be used the following year for the New Amsterdam edition of author Mary E. Mape’s classic: Hans Brinker; or, The Silver Skates. A review of the work in 1896 stated:

Thirty years have rolled by since Mrs. Dodge wrote this domestic tale of Holland, full of descriptions of Dutch scenery, customs, and general characteristics of the people. The chief incident is a race for a pair of silver skates. In 1879 an illustrated edition appeared, which delighted the souls of the boys and girls who are now fathers and mothers. But what were the illustrations then supplied to those made this year for the new edition? Allan B. Doggett, the artist, took a journey to Holland, and made his sketches of the haunts of Hans and Gretel Brinker on the spot. They accordingly possess the merit of truth in detail and have rare artistic value besides. The artist shows throughout that he was in true sympathy with the author’s delightful book, which we are heartily glad to see started so auspiciously on a new lease of life. (Scribner. $2.50.)


1896: November 1st notice in the journal Art Education that Doggett had been appointed to Erasmus Hall High School:

Mr. Doggett has studied under various artists at home and abroad and is an experienced illustrator, and for several years was Superintendent of the Art Department of the Forbes lithographic establishment of Boston.


1898: Doggett listed as Second Vice President for the Department of Photography in the Year Book of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, Volume 11.

1899: The Year Book mentions the artist had given a lecture on “An Illustrative Tour in Holland,” illustrated by lantern photographs.

1903-1905: Mr. and Mrs. Allen B. Doggett are residing at 27 Ocean Ave. in Englewood. (New Jersey?) (Brooklyn Blue Book)

1905-1914: Doggett now residing at 466 E. 17th St. in Brooklyn; political affiliation listed as Republican in The City Record for the Borough of Brooklyn. Along with his wife, the artist and educator boards in the home built by his teaching colleague Frank L. Bryant, (d. 1947) who taught physics and physiography at Erasmus. Beginning around 1909, and continuing through the 1930’s, Bryant ran the Quinibeck Summer Camp for Girls at Ely, VT.

1906: A biography of the artist titled Allen B. Doggett ———Chairman of Department, appeared in the Chronicles of Erasmus Hall, the newsletter for the high school, where he worked from 1896 to his passing in 1926. This material has been placed in our timeline above for 1877-1896.

1908: The journal Flatbush of To-Day publishes the following noting the artist’s talents:

The decorations for the Dutch Festival, held at All Souls Church in 1908, were planned by Allen B. Doggett, and put in place under his supervision. He has made a life-long study of Dutch Art, and has traveled extensively in Holland. The edition of “Hans Brinker“ published by Scribner in 1895 was illustrated by him. Ever since Erasmus Hall has been a public high school, Prof. Doggett has been chairman of its Department of Art. He is not only an artist of marked ability, but as a teacher he has proven highly successful. He takes a personal interest in every pupil, and has assisted many over the rough beginnings to a successful artistic career. Second only to his work is his interest in the social activities of the pupils. He gives unsparingly of his time, outside of school hours, to his pupils, and to the various clubs and student organizations in which he is interested. Prof. Doggett studied art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and completed his education in the art schools of Munich. Before taking the chairmanship of the art department at Erasmus Hall, he was in the art department of Harper Brothers, New York. (p. 148)

1915: The Doggett family is believed to have vacated their quarters at 466 E. 17th St. In the American Art News for November 27, Erasmus Hall’s Frank Bryant took out the following advertisement seeking a new tenant(s):

STUDIO, 35 feet distance, north sky light, connecting living room. Hot & cold water, steam, electricity. In private house, Ditmar Road. Cortelyou Station, Brighton Beach Line, Mr. F. L. Bryant, 466 E. 17th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.


1916: Exhibited at Pratt Institute: May 18 to June 5 — Paintings by Allen B. Doggett.

-Around this time builds summer studio at “Hill Farm” in Cummington, MA.

1917-1920: Residing at 628 E. 26th St. in Brooklyn. (Brooklyn Blue Book)

1921: Residing at 2331 Foster Ave. in Brooklyn. (BBB)

1922: Residing at 530 E. 22nd. in Brooklyn. (BBB)

1926: Residing at 360 E. 19th st. in Brooklyn, Allen B. Doggett dies October 2nd. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle carried the following lengthy obituary along with his photograph on October 4:

Death Saddens Many


Funeral of Great Nature Lover and Erasmus Teacher Will Be Held Tonight.

Funeral services for Allen B. Doggett, well known in educational and art circles throughout the city, will be held tonight at the Flatbush Congregational Church. Dorchester rd. and E. 19th st., where he was a member and active worker. Mr. Doggett died suddenly on Saturday at his home, 360 E. 19th st.

Mr. Doggett was born at Groveland Mass. . He was the son of Thomas Doggett, D. D., and Frances M. Barrows. He received his early training in art with the Forbes Lithograph Company of Boston and in the evening art clubs of that city. Later he went to Munich, Bavaria. There the ability of the young artist was recognized and he was admitted to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Carl Marr.

Did Notable Illustrating.

After his return to the United States he did illustrating for Harper Brothers and for Charles Scribner’s Sons. The latter firm sent him to Holland to study the peasant life of the Dutch for the purpose of making the Illustrations for the New Amsterdam edition of “Hans Brinker; or, the Silver Skates.”

His first experience In teaching was at the old Erasmus Hall Academy, where he taught during the last year of its existence.

In 1896, when the trustees of the old Dutch Academy turned the property over to the city for a public high school, he became a teacher of art In the new institution and continued in that capacity until his death. He was one of that little group of able teachers who laid the foundation for the great school that was to come and gave to the growing institution that distinctive character among the public high schools of our city that it still holds today.

Made Tower Studio a Delight.

His love for boys and girls, his sympathetic comradeship and his great enthusiasm for his work made the old Tower Studio at Erasmus a place of delight and inspiration for the thousands of pupils who were so fortunate as to come under his instruction. The excellence of the work of his pupils in drawing from life attracted the attention of teachers and supervisors of art through the city.

His busy life as a teacher did not prevent his productive work as an artist. He was a member of the Brooklyn Society of Artists and exhibited In both New York and Brooklyn.

Had Massachusetts Studio.

He had a studio at Cummington, Mass., built with his own hands, and here he spent every spare day with the nature that he loved, putting upon canvas the beauty of the landscape, the rush and power of the storm and the wonderful glories of the dawn. He leaves a large collection of paintings of distinctive merit.

But Mr. Doggett’s worship of the God of the Open Air found expression in ways other than in his painting. For many years he has spent his summers with boys and girls by lakeside and in the woods at summer camps. “Uncle Doggett,” as he was familiarly called, was a delightful companion in camp or on hike, and he taught his young companions the wonders and secrets of the great world of nature that he knew so well.

Island Named For Him.

There is an Island in Sebago Lake, Maine, known as the Allen Doggett Island. The following lines were composed by Madeline B. Lehman for the camp ceremony connected with the dedication of the island:

To him who loves the trees, the birds, the flowers, Each living thing that fills the world with Joy, Who serves all nature but whose heart is ours, Tho’ grown In years, is still a happy boy; Whose hand alone these pleasant paths have made. Who stript these boughs that we might walk at ease, And gather here to rest beneath the shade; To whom all things respond as to the breeze: To him, then, on this glorious summer day, To be at home in, and to use for evermore: From which to bring forth wonders from our eyes. That he may teach us how to learn, and live, and play, We dedicate this little lake-bound shore, ‘Tis here the Allen Doggett Island lies.

Mr. Doggett was an ardent collector of Dutch antiques and a close student of old Dutch history in Flatbush. At the time of the Dutch Fair, In 1908, at All Souls, Universalist Church, he designed and painted the scenic backgrounds, a most elaborate piece of work. He was considered one of the foremost authorities in this country on Dutch history, customs and art.

Mr. Doggett is survived by his wife Mary L. Rogers of Brooklyn and Montclair, N.J.; one daughter, Eunice W. of the Bennett School, Millbrook, N.Y., and two sons, Allen B. Jr., of Hampton Institute, Virginia, and David L., of the interior decorating firm of Theodore Hofstatter & Co., New York City.

Provenance: Acquired by this archive in 2018 from Philadelphia dealer.

Artist’s Studio of Allen B. Doggett

Image Dimensions11.8 x 17.6 cm

Support Dimensions12.5 x 17.6 cm