Harry Ives Thompson was born in West Haven, CT on January 31, 1840. He was trained as a merchant. He turned his interest to painting at the age of 21 and in 1861 studied under Benjamin H. Coe.
He exhibited at the National Academy of Design from 1877 to 1890. He taught drawing from 1864 unitl 1867 in New Haven, CT. He was both a portrait as well as landscape painter. His last known address was West Haven, CT, where he died in 1906.
His two known New Hampshire paintings were titled Presidential Range from Jefferson, New Hampshire (Kennedy Galleries, 1978) and Quimby Brook, New Hampshire (National Academy of Design, 1882, #31).