Painter. Born in Guilford, CT on May 16, 1846. Searss father had come to California in 1852 and followed placer mining in the vicinity of Sonora. Ben and his two brothers made the trip to Sonora via Panama in 1862. He came to San Francisco in 1868 and worked as a photographer in several galleries until the early 1870s when he switched to oil painting. He spent a great deal of time in the studios of various painters where he may have learned to paint by observing the techniques of these artists. He left San Francisco in 1878 and returned to Sonora, working for a short while as a sketch artist for the U.S. Signal Coast Survey which took him all over northern California. While in San Francisco Sears had painted mostly nocturnes and inshore marNearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here
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