Green Street Bridge, Ipswich MA, by Theodore WendelHistory

Theodore Wendel’s Ipswich

Theodore Wendel (1859–1932) was an Impressionist artist who lived for thirty-four years in Ipswich, where he painted the village, bridges, farmlands and landscapes, and left behind a magnificent collection of paintings of his adopted home town.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Wendel's first home was on County Street

Wendel’s first home was on County Street

Wendel was born in Ohio, but pursued his art studies in Germany, Baravia and Italy. He became part of a group of painters in France who worked closely with Claude Monet. Some of his most successful canvases were painted in Ipswich between 1900 and 1915 before a debilitating illness brought his painting career virtually to a close. He first lived in the attractive but compact Victorian house at 28 County Street. The nearby County Street and Green Street bridges appear in his paintings, as does Town Hill and the rolling landscapes beyond. From the home of his friend Arthur Wesley Dow on Turkey Shore Road, he could look across the river and the clam shacks to the Summer Street rising up toward Town Hill.

I am told that Theodore Wendel also owned and lived in one of the earliest home in Ipswich, on High Street. In 1897 Wendel married Philena Stone, and they spent their summers at the farm on Argilla Road that she inherited from her family. He retained a studio in Boston where unfortunately many of his paintings burned in the 1904 fire.

Theodore Wendell's second Ipswich house, on Argilla Road

Theodore Wendel’s second Ipswich house, on Argilla Road

Wendel’s Argilla road home had extensive views of the surrounding marshes, hills, and meadows, including landmark drumlin islands and beaches. He frequently painted the farmers the harvesting salt marsh hay by the wagon loads, unloading on wooden “straddles.” After achieving great success, Wendel purchased “Upper Farm” at 89 Argilla Road, with a forty-acre view. To read in-depth descriptions of the paintings below, visit “Theodore Wendel, Ipswich Impressionist” by Laurene Buckley

Bridge at Ipswich (Green St. Bridge), ca. 1918 Print

Sledding, ca 1909. This painting shows children sledding down toward Market Square from Town Hill. The steeple of First church glows red over the houses, most of which are still there. Print

Woman by the Sea

Woman by the Sea (Cape Ann)  Print


Twilight on the Ipswich Marshes (Houses on a Pond) ca. 1920.


Town Hill. The red steeple of the previous First Church is seen over the roofs of the houses.

Old Orchard, Ipswich

Old Jail House, Ipswich

Lower River, Ipswich, ca. 1908. This is Hovey’s Cove on Turkey Shore Road, opposite Water Street.

Old Bridge, Ipswich, Labor in Vain (Goulds Creek) or Fox Creek


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The County Street bridge

Further reading:

Categories: History, People

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.