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James Wilkins

 (1808 - 1888)
James F. Wilkins was active/lived in California, Illinois / England.  James Wilkins is known for portrait, western, panorama, miniature.

Biography   James Wilkins

Born in London, England in 1808. Wilkins studied at the Royal Academy in London and exhibited portraits there before coming to the U.S. in the 1830s. He was a resident of Peoria, IL in 1837, visited New Orleans in 1842-43 and then settled in St Louis, MO. Caught up with gold fever, he joined the rush to California in 1849. After making the trek in a wagon train, he was in California for only a few weeks. Upon returning to St Louis, he had 200 sketches of the Overland Trail, gold mining scenes, and views of Panama. Following months of painting, he produced a large panorama which was shown in the Midwest during 1850-51. He later returned to portraiture and spent his last years in Illinois. Wilkins died there on June 18, 1888.

Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America (Groce, George C. and David H. Wallace); An Artist on the Overland Trail (Huntington Library, 1968).

Nearly 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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