Thomas Ridgeway Gould (1818-1881) was born in Boston. He was a dry-goods merchant by trade and an artist by hobby, but when his business failed during the Civil War, he began to study with portrait painter Seth Cheney, and turned to art as a profession. He gained a name as a sculptor of allegorical and portrait busts. In 1868 he moved to Florence, where he lived for the rest of his life, returning only for brief trips to Boston.
Gould had a Rochester connection: his brother Samuel and his family lived here, and Gould’s sister-in-law, Hannah Durand Gould, was a board member at MAG. Mrs. Gould gave a sum of money to the Gallery in memory of her daughter, Marion Stratton Gould; that money is still used today for the acquisition of art.