Happy Birthday 103rd Birthday, George Caleb Bingham

Happy Birthday 103rd Birthday, George Caleb Bingham, born March 20, 1811.  You were a man true to your principles.  You were an artist of exceptional natural ability who worked tirelessly to improve your skills.  Your honest portrayals of Americans and life in the United States still breathe with life.  In the 21st century, your steadfast honesty brings you more fame and appreciation than you ever dreamed possible.

Your genre works hang in America’s finest museums and tour the world:

Fur Traders Descending the Missouri, 1845, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Boatmen on the Missouri1846, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, California

Lighter Relieving a Steamboat Aground, 1847, White House, Washington, DC

Mississippi Raftsmen Playing Cards, 1847, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri    

Captured by Indians, 1848,  Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri    

Country Politician1849, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, California  

The Checker Players, 1850, Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, Detroit, Michigan

Mississippi Boatman, 1850, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Shooting for the Beef, 1850, Brooklyn Art Museum, Brooklyn, New York

The Squatters, 1850, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

Wood Boat, 1850,  Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri   

Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap or Daniel Boone Escorting a Band of Pioneers into the Western Country1851, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

Your few landscapes can be peaceful or spectacular:

Landscape with Fisherman,  1845-1850, Oil on canvas, 25 in. x 30 in. (63.5 cm x 76.2 cm), The Lunder Collection, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine

Landscape with Cattle, 1846, Oil on Canvas, 38 x 48 inches, (96.5 x 121.9 centimeters) Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri

Pastoral Scene, 1850, Oil on Canvas, 26 1/4 x 36 1/4 in. (66.675 x 92.075 cm.), Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2003.2

Daybreak in a Stable or Cattle at Daybreak or Stable Scene, 1851, Oil on Canvas, 18 x W: 24 3/8 in. (45.72 x 61.91 cm), Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 77.59

Landscape with Water Wheel and Boy Fishing, 1853, Oil on Canvas, 25 1/8 x 30 inches, (63.82 x 76.2 cm), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, 1973.51

A View of a Lake in the Mountains, 1856-1857, Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 30 1/8 in. (53.98 x 76.52 cm), Los Angeles County Art Museum, 65.18

View of Pikes Peak 1, 1872, Oil on Canvas, 28 x 42 1/8 inches, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, 1967.27

And, your portraits.  You may have only thought of them as a way to make the “pot boil,” but many are recognized as stunning works of art.

George Caleb Bingham, Palm Leaf Shade, 1878, Private Collection

George Caleb Bingham, Palm Leaf Shade, 1878
Private Collection

 

George Caleb Bingham, Mrs. George Caleb Bingham (Elizabeth Hutchison) and Son Newton, 1842(121)

George Caleb Bingham, Mrs. George Caleb Bingham (Elizabeth Hutchison) and Son Newton, 1842, Oil on Canvas, 35 x 28 inches, Private Collection, Photograph Courtesy of Sotheby’s New YorK

 

George Caleb Bingham, The Dull Story, 1844 (131)

George Caleb Bingham, The Dull Story, 1844, Oil on Canvas, 58 x 30 inches, Saint Louis Art Museum

 

George Caleb Bingham, Mrs. David Steele Lamme (Sophia Woodson Hickman) and son William Wirt, 1837 (37)

George Caleb Bingham, Mrs. David Steele Lamme (Sophia Woodson Hickman) and son William Wirt, 1837, oil on canvas, 35 x 28 inches, Private Collection

 

George Caleb Bingham, Major James Sidney Rollins, 1855-1856 (326a)

George Caleb Bingham, Major James Sidney Rollins, 1855-6, oil on canvas, 53 x 45 inches
McClain Collection, Independence, Missouri

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GC Bingham

 

About Patricia Moss

Patricia Moss is an art historian, or art detective if you will, who solves mysteries of 19th century American portraits. She located nearly 70 of Bingham’s lost portraits, a feat acknowledged by the Smithsonian’s Research and Scholar’s Center. From expertise with portraits of George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879), she developed skills that evolved into a comprehensive system based on the scientific method that conforms to the legal and ethical standards of art authentication. Moss served as a guest curator for the Bingham Bicentennial Exhibit, “Steamboats to Steam Engines: George Caleb Bingham’s Missouri: 1819-1879,” (March 10-September 8, 2011) at the Truman Presidential Museum and curated the opening exhibition, “George Caleb Bingham: Witness to History,” (September 2013 –), Jackson County Art Museum, Independence, Missouri. She is also the principal researcher for Fine Art Investigations.
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