Lemuel D. Eldred was the son of Adeline and Lemuel Eldred of Fairhaven, MA, and remained a bachelor.
Eldred was a marine painter and etcher.
On Eldred's return from the Civil War in 1868 he was introduced to the marine painter William Bradford by a mutual friend, Caleb Purrington, and received training in Bradford's studios in Fairhaven and New York. In 1876 he exhibited at the National Academy and in Boston. Later the same year Eldred moved to Boston, where his works became popular. He sent six works to the Boston Art Club between 1876-1886, also exhibiting at the American Society of Painters in Water-colours in 1875 and at the National Academy of Design in 1876.
In 1880 he travelled to Paris and studied at the Academie Julien before travelling throughout Europe and North Africa in 1883, where he was particularly impressed by Venice and Algiers. Eldred was included in Frank T. Robinson's Living New England Artists in 1888.
Many of his works reflected life in the whaling community surrounding the Fairhaven/New Bedford harbour. Eldred's work typically consists of New England coastal scenes of villages, cliffs and beaches, often painted on the shores of Massachusetts. His favourite spots included Maine, the Bay of Fundy, St Lawrence river and Grand Manan island. Works by Eldred are held by the Peabody Museum of Salem, MA, the Old Dartmouth Historical Society and the Kendall Whaling Museum.
Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975, 3 vols., Madison, CT, 1999; http://www.whitemountainart.com (accessed 2003.07.02); Benac, Albert F., 'We Celebrate the Vision of a Master Whaling Artist', New Standard, www.s-t.com/daily/03-98/03-20-98 (accessed 2003.07.02); Pierce Galleries Inc., 'Lemuel D. Eldred (American, 1850-1921)', at askart.com (accessed 2003.07.02)