Walked to school today with Pauline. Mrs. Raifert came over. Played pinochle. Nadine was down. We drawed pictures.
|Self-portrait of George Caleb Bingham (March 20, 1811 – July 7, 1879)|
Born in Virginia but raised in Franklin County, Missouri, Bingham was a self-taught
artist. By age nineteen, Bingham was painting portraits for $20.00 apiece, often completing
the works in a single day. He moved to St. Louis to ply his trade but contracted
measles, which left him weak and permanently bald. He continued to work in St. Louis,
though he kept his family and his principal residence in Arrow Rock, Missouri, where his home
has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Bingham next moved his family to Europe where he studied the Old Masters and
worked on important commissions from the Missouri State Legislature, as well as independent
paintings. Upon his return to America, Bingham began painting more portraits, which had
always been his "bread and butter" work. Always interested in politics, he was appointed
State Treasurer of Missouri during the American Civil War.
In 1874, he was appointed president of Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, and
appointed the first chief of police there. In 1875, the governor appointed Bingham as
Adjutant-General of Missouri, and thereafter he was often referred to as General Bingham.
Toward the end of his life, although quite ill, Bingham was appointed the first Professor
of Art at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. He met with only a few students
before his death.
Bingham's most famous painting, Fur Traders Descending the Missouri, is owned by
the Metropolitan Museum in New York.