Retirement from the ministry offered Thomas Campbell the opportunity to pursue a second—and successful—career as an artist. Born in England, Campbell immigrated to the United States at the age of nineteen was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1866. He served first as missionary to Native Americans and subsequently held pastorates at churches in New York and Illinois. From the time of his arrival in this country, he actively maintained a sketchbook, recording his impressions of the American landscape.
In the hopes of improving his wife’s failing health, the couple moved to east Tennessee around 1892. Following her death that year, Campbell retired from the ministry and devoted himself to art. A brief teaching stint at Maryville College (1893-1894) was followed by a two-year sojourn in Europe. In 1902, Campbell returned to the Maryville campus where he founded the art department, where he taught until his death. Campbell’s work in Tennessee consisted primarily of landscapes, as well as fine painting on china.
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