Biography: Born in Ireland, Hovenden apprenticed to a frame maker and studied art at the Cork branch of London's South Kensington School of Design, before moving to the United States in 1863. Settling in New York, he studied at the National Academy of Design and began illustrating for Harper's. In the 1860s, he moved to Baltimore, where he shared a studio with Hugh Bolton Jones, and established himself as a genre painter. He traveled to France in 1874 where he studied with Jules Breton and Alexandre Cabanel and frequented the artists' colony in Pont-Aven. Returning to New York in 1880 as an experienced genre and figure painter he achieved rapid success, being elected to membership in the Society of American Artists and the National Academy of Design. In the 1880s, he moved to Plymouth Meeting and taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His genre paintings of American life were very popular and widely reproduced. In 1895, he was hit by a locomotive while trying to save a child.