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Benjamin Champney was born in 1807 in New Hampshire. Champney started his career as a lithographer's apprentice in Boston, where he had a studio in the Tremont Temple, as did Lane. They knew each other during their mutual years in Boston, and, as is indicated on one of Lane's drawings, maintained their acquaintance after Lane moved back to Gloucester.
There are records that Champney was in Boston in 1846 and again in 1849; both times he had a studio in the Tremont Temple. Champney placed Lane in the Tremont Temple in the latter year, after Lane’s return to Gloucester. Champney’s mother died in Woburn in the summer of 1849, and “that winter I took a studio in the old Tremont Temple to paint pictures from my summer studies. The rooms on the upper floor were occupied mostly by artists. Among them were ... F. H. Lane of old lithographic days, and now a marine painter.” (1)
After turning to landscape painting, Champney painted the North Conway region of New Hampshire's White Mountains. He is noted for being a forerunner among landscape painters of the White Mountains and was known for his publication, Sixty Years' Memories of Art and Artists, published c.1899. He died in 1907.
Lane and Champney's friendship continued through the years when Lane was in Gloucester. "Champney maintained his friendship with Lane for in July of 1864, the two of them drove to Folly Cove where Lane did a pencil sketch." (2)
(1) Benjamin Champney, Sixty Years' Memories of Art and Artists (Woburn, MA: privately printed, ca.1899), 99, quoted in Sarah Dunlap and Stephanie Buck. "Fitz Who? The Artist Latterly Known as Fitz Hugh Lane." The Essex Genealogist 25, no. 1 (February 2005), 53.
(2) Sarah Dunlap and Stephanie Buck, Fitz Henry Lane: Family and Friends. (Gloucester, MA: Church & Mason Publishing; in association with the Cape Ann Historical Museum, 2007), 185.
p. 2, col. 7
"Extraordinary Exhibition and Sale of a Meritorious Collection of beautiful Oil Paintings and Water Colorings, carefully selected from the studios of the most prominent Artists in Boston and vicinity..." including F.H. Lane
"After a time I left the shoe store, and through the influence of my friend Cooke, was admitted as an apprentice to Moore, successor to Pendleton, in the lithographic business. Here I was speedily worked in as a draughtsman for ordinary commercial work, the fine work, such as designs of figures and heads from life being done by Cooke. F.H. Lane, afterwards well-known as a marine painter, did most of the views, hotels, etc. He was very accurate in his drawing, understood perspective and naval architecture perfectly, as well as the handling of vessels, and was a good, all-round draughtsman." (1)
(1) John Wilmerding. Fitz Henry Lane (Gloucester, MA: Cape Ann Historical Association, 2005). Reprint of Fitz Hugh Lane, by John Wilmerding. New York: Praeger, 1971.