William A. McIlvaine jr. was born in Philadelphia, PA on June 5, 1813. Mcllvaine studied art in Europe after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1832. He then was in business with his father for several years in Philadelphia.
By 1840 he was exhibiting European scenes at the Artists Fund Society in Philadelphia. Moving to NYC in 1845, he became a professional painter. In 1849 he joined the Gold Rush to California. Arriving in San Francisco, Mcllvaine went directly to the mines and sketched along the Tuolumne and Merced rivers.
He returned to NYC in November and the following year events of his brief visit to California were published under the title, Sketches of Scenery and Notes of Personal Adventures, containi
Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America; Artist of the American West (Samuels); California Pictorial (Van Nostrand & Coulter); First 100 Years of Painting in California (J. Van Nostrand); Gold Rush Album, Jackson; Philadelphia Public Ledger, 6-19-1867 (obit).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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