|George E. Shiras, 81, famed for his nationwide study and paintings of forests, trees, and wild flowers, died of an unexpected heart attack February 11, 1939 in his home at 743 Almaden Avenue.|
Born on the site of old Fort Duquesne in Pittsburgh, Pa, he was reared in art. His father carved figureheads on Ohio River Boats. His uncle, Russell Smith, painted scenery for theaters of Philadelphia. An aunt and uncle conducted an art school in western Pennsylvania.
The young man studied art in Philadelphia and abroad, but he became a Methodist minister and went to the Everglades as a missionary, which ruined his health in six years. He returned to Pittsburgh and his art, and in 1900 married one of his pupils, Alice Street, who survived him in their home here.
They tried apple growing in Virginia, where were born a son and daughter, Russell and Helen, who spent five years of their childhood in tents as the family traveled through many states so Shiras could study and paint native trees.
They came to California in 1907 and settled at Boulder Creek to paint the redwoods. Los Gatos became their home in 1912, until he resumed his missionary work at Halfmoon Bay in 1919. They made their final home in San Jose shortly after and Mrs. Shiras became a teacher in the public schools.
Shiras sold more than 1000 paintings through dealers but held few exhibits. One of his exhibits was being shown at Duke University in 1939.