James Everett Stuart was born near Bangor, Maine on March 24, 1852. He came to California with his parents in 1860 via the Isthmus of Panama. The family settled on a 200-acre ranch up the Sacramento River near Rio Vista where he attended public school. He began to paint in 1860 and had a few lessons in Sacramento from local artist David H. Woods. In the 1870s he began a five-year study course at the San Francisco School of Design under Virgil Williams and Raymond Yelland while studying privately with portrait painter Benoni Irwin. He then had studios in Portland, Oregon (1881), New York City (1886), Tacoma, Washington (1890) and in 1891 established a studio in Chicago where he was based for twenty years.
A lifelong bachelor, he traveled throughout the Northwest, Mexico, and made three trips to Alaska. By the turn of the century, he was a nationally famous painter and was highly successful in merchandising his own work. He had the unique habit of listing on the back of his canvases the price, number, date, and geographical location of the scenes depicted. He painted over 5,000 paintings, mostly landscapes; however, he was an excellent portraitist and also did a series of mission paintings.
He also invented a process for painting on aluminum which he considered indestructible. Upon returning to San Francisco in 1912, Stuart established a studio on Union Square and remained in San Francisco until his death on January 2, 1941.
Member: San Francisco Art Ass'n; National Arts Club; Society of Independent Artists; Bohemian Club; American Artists Professional League; Portland Art Club.
Exhibited: American Art Society, Philadelphia, 1902 (bronze medal); San Francisco Art Ass'n, 1916-18.
Works held: Oakland Museum; White House (Washington, DC); De Young Museum; Bancroft Library (University of California at Berkeley); Southwest Museum (Los Angeles); California Historical Society; Crocker Museum (Sacramento); California State Library; Montana Historical Society; Washington State Historical Society; Witt Art Library (London); Kalamazoo (MI) Art Ass'n; Michigan State Library; Oregon Historical Society; Omaha Public Library; Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
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