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 Gustave Sohon  (1825 - 1903)

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Lived/Active: Washington/California/District Of Columbia / Germany/Russian Federation      Known for: topographic views, Indian portrait-figure painting, photography

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Gustavus Sohon is primarily known as Gustave Sohon

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Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
Artist. Gustave Sohon was born in Tilsit, Germany on Dec. 10, 1825.  Sohon came to America at age 17 and worked in Brooklyn as a bookbinder until his enlistment in the Army in 1852.

While serving as the official artist on several western exploring expeditions, he provided maps, drawings, and illustrations of the Northwest.  He spoke the languages of several Indian tribes and made pencil portraits of many of the chiefs.

After his discharge from the Army, he had a photography business in San Francisco during 1863-65.  Sohon then ran a theatrical business in Washington, DC until his death on Sept. 3, 1903.  With about 100 known sketches extant, his works are rare and of great historical importance.

Washington Historical Society (Tacoma)
National Museum of American Art

Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
Robert Taft, Artists and Illustrators of the Old West
Groce and Wallace, The New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860

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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