|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Primarily known as a California painter, George Henry Burgess was from
a large family of artists. A long-time resident of San Francisco,
he also made periodic visits to the Hawaiian Islands. Born in
London in 1831, he studied at the Somerset House School of Design in
London, and worked in a lithography shop in the city. The
California Gold Rush attracted George's two brothers, Charles and
Edward, and in 1850 he and his older brother, William, joined them
there. However, he and William soon turned from mining to running
a jewelry store in Sonoma.|
Charles and Edward Burgess lived in
Honolulu for various periods; Charles working as a photographer
and portrait painter, and Edward as an agent selling his siblings'
artwork and running a coffee shop.
George Burgess made three
trips to Hawaii, the first and longest being in 1855, and he remained
in the islands for over a year. In 1856, he produced a set of
Honolulu views that were then offered for sale in 1857. These
lithographic scenes show Honolulu and its harbor, Queen Street, Nuuanu
Valley, Diamond Head, and domestic scenes in the area of Ewa. His
scenes, which were published at Britton and Rey, San Francisco, are
animated with the presence of human activity. He also painted
portraits of King Kamehameha IV and his queen, Emma, which are regarded
as among the artist's best works.
During his second trip to
Hawaii in 1866, he created watercolors, drawings, and portraits, before
returning to San Francisco in 1867. He visited the islands a
third time in 1871, after the death of his brother Edward.
In 1871, he became a co-founder of the San Francisco Art
Association. In 1872, George Burgess traveled to London, where he
married Emma, a daughter of the artist Alfred Clint.
to San Francisco, he painted portraits, gave art lessons, worked for
the lithography firm of Britton & Rey, and executed a number of
large history pieces. His largest historical scene was a
lithographic recreation, completed in 1894, of his view of San
Francisco as it appeared in the fall of 1848.
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
David W. Forbes, Encounters in Paradise
Don Severson, Finding Paradise
|** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.|
George Burgess is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Artists who painted Hawaii