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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Bogle, James

by Roger N. Kirkman, 1979
See also: Bogle, Robert

Jan. 1817–11 Oct. 1873

James Bogle, self-portrait. From "Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design: 1826-1925."James Bogle, portrait and genre painter, was born in or near Fayetteville, or in Georgetown, S.C., a twin son of Dr. James and Sarah Auld Bogle, Dr. Bogle made his living both as a physician and as principal and teacher at various academies including the Franklin Academy in Louisburg and Fayetteville Academy. James may have attended the latter although of his early education nothing is known. In 1836 he went to New York City where he studied art under Samuel F. B. Morse. By 1838 he was traveling with his twin brother, Robert, through North Carolina and South Carolina, painting portraits and exhibiting genre paintings. By 1840 they had achieved such prominence as to be described by the Charleston (S.C.) Courier as the "Siamese Twins of the divine art." They worked in both Charleston and Baltimore during the years between 1841 and 1843. In Baltimore James apparently met Rebecca Riggs, daughter of a prominent businessman, and they were married in New York in January 1843. The young couple established their residence in New York. They became the parents of James, Jr., Rebecca Riggs, Elizabeth, Margaret Riggs, Virginia Waldron, and Aurelia Calhoun. By 1853 Bogle had set up his own school of painting and was widely known as a portraitist, having been elected an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1849. Among his works are portraits of John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and Millard Fillmore. His portrait of Judge William Gaston is owned by the Philanthropic Society of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The New York Atlas in 1852 commented that "Bogle, to our mind, is equal to any painter of the times . . . in every department of the art [he] is as nigh perfection as any man can be; and it is not extravagant to call him the Sir Thomas Lawrence of the United States." In 1861 he was elected to the status of Academician of the National Academy of Design. Bogle died in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was buried by his wife in Woodlawn Cemetery in New York.


Francis W. Bilodeau and Mrs. Thomas J. Tobias, Art in South Carolina, 1670–1970 (1970).

Bogle file, National Academy of Design Archives, New York.

Charleston Courier, 14 Jan. 1840.

Charleston Mercury, 7 Jan. 1842, 22 Mar. 1843.

Charles L. Coon, North Carolina Schools and Academies, 1790–1840 (1915).

James H. Craig, The Arts and Crafts in North Carolina, 1699–1840 (1966).

Cumberland County Marriage Bonds (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Fayetteville Observer, 23 Sept. 1852.

Mantle Fielding, Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers (1960).

George C. Groce and David H. Wallace, Dictionary of Artists in America: 1564–1860 (1957).

E. J. Hale Papers (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Calvin Jones Papers (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

National Academy of Design Exhibition Record, 1826–1860 (1943).

New-York Historical Society, Catalogue of American Portraits in the New-York Historical Society (1974).

Philanthropic Society Papers, 1851–52 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

John B. Riggs, The Riggs Family of Maryland (1939).

Anna Wells Rutledge, Artists in the Life of Charleston (1949).

U.S. Census, 1820, Cumberland County (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Additional Resources:

James A. Bogle : artist file : study photographs and reproductions of works of art with accompanying documentation, James A Bogle; Frick Art Reference Library:

James Bogle (Self-Portrait), (painting) in the Smithsonian Institute:

Search results for James Bogle in the Frick Art Reference Library:

Portrait of Elbridge Gerry by Bogle in History of the Portrait Collection, Independence National Historical Park: Suivi de : Catalog of the Collection. American Philosophical Society, 2001. (accessed April 18, 2013).

Image Credits:

James Bogle, self-portrait. From "Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design: 1826-1925." Hudson Hills, 2004. (accessed April 18, 2013).

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