Philip Little was born in 1857 Swampscott, MA. He spent much of his childhood being groomed to take over his father’s cotton and wool business.
As a young adult, Little quickly realized he’d prefer a career in the arts over the family business. He enrolled at the Lowell School of Design and worked at the Forbes Lithograph Company of Boston before going on to enter the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where he studied alongside Frank W. Benson. The two would later go on to share a studio and become neighbors in Salem, MA.
In 1883, Little exhibited for his first time at the Boston Art Club. Finding national prominence in his early 50s, he exhibited throughout the U.S. during his lifetime. When not working on his paintings or printmaking, Little became a civic leader, holding several elected offices in his adopted hometown of Salem.
Little’s artwork drew heavily on the New England coast. He spent many of his summers in Maine and would return home with stunning Impressionist scenes of the coast.
A member of The National Arts Club and other art organizations, he was also a founding member of the Guild of Boston Artists. Today, his work is included in the collections of many important art institutions throughout the country.