(1865 - 1942)
Benjamin Chambers Brown was active/lived in California, Arkansas. Benjamin Brown is known for landscape, portrait and still-life painting, etching.
Biography from the Archives of askART
Born in Marion, Arkansas, Benjamin Brown was a landscape painter and
printmaker, known for his Impressionist landscapes of the Sierra Nevada
Mountains and fields of poppies. His primary mediums were oil,
lithography and etching, although he also did watercolor painting
throughout his career.
Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Carmel
Brown was educated at the University of
Tennessee and at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts with Paul Harney and
John Fry. His early interest was photography. In 1890,
accompanied by friend William Griffith, he went to Paris for a year of
study with Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant at the Academy
Returning to the United States, he lived in St. Louis,
Little Rock, Arkansas, and Texas. His early specialities were
portraiture and still lifes, but moving to Pasadena in 1896, he turned
to local landscape and also painted the Grand Canyon and the Painted
Desert in Arizona.
In 1914, he began doing etchings, and with
his brother, Howell, co-founded the Printmakers of Los Angeles, later
known as the California Society of Printmakers.
venues included the Seattle Exposition in 1909 and the 1915
Panama-Pacific Exposition. He was a member of the California Art Club
and the Pasadena Society of Artists.
He died in Pasadena in 1942.
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Peggy and Harold Samuels, Artists of the American West
William Gerdts and Will South, California Impressionism
Benjamin Brown was born in Marion, Arkansas, in 1865, and studied at
the St. Louis School of Fine Arts. Further study was in Paris at
the Academie Julian.
Biography from Fleischer Museum
Upon completing his studies, Brown was active in the American South,
specializing in portraits and still lifes. Moving to Pasadena in
1896, Brown quickly saw the potential and changed his artistic focus to
Brown is best remembered for his Impressionist renderings of the Sierra Mountains and poppy-filled spring meadows.
Benjamin Brown died in Pasadena in 1942.
Though the still lifes popular of the era often featured bowls or
Indian baskets of California poppies, the icon of poppy covered slopes
was probably only developed in the late 1890s. Brown wrote that
on one of William Wendt's trips to southern California around 1900, he
showed up at Brown's door "with a collection of poppy and other
landscapes" looking for a studio in which to work. A seminal
poppy picture painted by Wendt on a Malibu ranch in 1898 is known to be
in a private collection.
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We also know that Brown, who specialized in portrait and figure
painting, did not sell any work until about 1900, when he sold a
landscape of the poppy field that stretched between Altadena and Eaton
Canyon. By 1905, Brown was known for his poppy field paintings,
which "have hardly remained long enough in his studio to become
throughly dry." Brown, who lived in such close proximity to the
fields, seems a natural for coming up with the poppy theme.
Other artists recognized the salability of poppy pictures. Along
with Brown, John Gamble and Granville Redmond became the best-known of
many southern California artists who ultimately essayed the
There is no East Coast movement comparable to the California wildflower
painters, although certain Texas artists became known for painting
fields of bluebonnets. Even San Francisco artists were not as
fond of the subject as their southern counterparts.
Credit: A Time and Place, From the Ries Collection of California Painting, The Oakland Museum.
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