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William Keith, N.A.
Scottish/American
(1838-1911)

William Keith, N.A.
Figure and Sheep in a Landscape, oil on canvas,
20"x30", s.l.r. “W. Keith”
Born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Emigrated to New York in 1850. 1859, moved to San Francisco. Visited Dusseldorf; Paris; Munich; Amsterdam; Alaska; Boston and East Coast. 1891, shared his studio in San Francisco with East Coast Tonalist George Inness, Sr. (1825-1894). Both painted in similar style and followed teachings of Monterey and Yosemite. Influenced by Inness, Keith painted more sunset and twilight scenes. Landscape artist, known as the “Dean of California painters.”

Early works are dramatic mountainscapes in a realistic style. Influenced by Barbizon School and Tonalism, his work, in the last two decades of his life, are looser and darker. By early 1900s, Keith was one of the wealthiest artists in the U.S.

Studied: with Samuel Marsden Brookes in 1863; portrait painting with Frank Currier and Carl Marr.

Exhibited: MacBeth Gallery, New York; Worlds Columbian Exhibition, which traveled to Chicago, New York, Glasgow, London, Paris and Madrid; Blanchard Gallery, Los Angeles; and Alaska.

In the collection of: Anchorage Museum of History and Art; Phoenix Art Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Oakland Museum of CA; San Diego Museum of Art; de Young Memorial Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; National Portrait Gallery; Corcoran Gallery of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Farnsworth Art Museum; Brooklyn Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Butler Institute of American Art; Brigham Young University Museum; and more.

Member: ANA, 1881; NA, 1883; SAA, 1881; AWCS: NIAL; NAC; Artists Fund Society; Century Assoc.; SC; NY Soc. Painters.

Exhibited: NAD, 1867-1927 (extraordinary 60-year exhibition record); Paris Salon, 1877-81; PAFA Ann., 1879-85, 1891-1902, 1917-18; Boston AC, 1881-1909; AIC; Paris Expo, 1889 (med.), 1990 (med.); Columbian Expo, Chicago, 1893 (med.); SAA, 1902 (prizes); St. Louis Expo, 1904 (gold); Corcoran Gallery, 1907-12 (4 times); Pan-Pac. Expo, San Francisco, 1915 (med.).

In the collection of: Metropolitan Museum of Art; CGA; PAFA; Brooklyn Museum; Yale University Art Gallery; National Academy of Design; Hudson River Museum; Butler Institute of American Art; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; Nashville Parthenon; Milwaukee Art Center; Baltimore Museum of Art; Peabody Institute; Flint Institute of Arts; Holyoke Museum; Century Association; Smithsonian Institution; Art Association of Richmond; Davenport Museum of Art; Washington County Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY; Heckscher Museum; Holyoke Museum; and Columbus Museum, Georgia.


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