Colman was an American painter, print maker, interior designer, and author. He moved to New York City with his family as a child where his father opened a bookstore. He is believed to have studied briefly under the Hudson River School painter Asher Durand, and he exhibited his first work at the National Academy of Design in 1850. By 1854 he Colman also became skilled at the medium of etching and was an early member of the New York Etching Club. Colman’s artistic activities became even more diverse late in life. By the 1880s he worked extensively as an interior designer, collaborating with his friend Louis Comfort Tiffany on the design of Samuel Clemens’ Hartford home, and later on the Fifth Avenue home of Henry and Louisine Havemeyer. He also became a major collector of Asian decorative objects, and wrote two books on geometry and art, one of which was entitled Nature’s Harmonic Unity, the other which was entitled Proportional Form.
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