401 Brush Street Graton, CA 95444 United States 415.259.7918
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$ 17,000

Cabin in the High Sierras

Documentation Signed
Documentation Notes Signed Lower left "Butman"
Origin United States
Period 19th Century
Materials Oil on Canvas
W. 46 in; H. 36.25 in;
W. 116.84 cm; H. 92.08 cm;
Condition Good.
Description Born in Bangor, ME in 1820, Frederick Butman operated an apothecary shop in Gardiner, ME and helped found the local gas and water company. Without the benefit of instruction, he began to paint figure studies. He arrived in San Francisco in 1857 and exhibited the earliest known painting of Yosemite Valley at the Mechanics' Institute Fair.

One of the first California artists to devote himself exclusively to landscapes, as well as Yosemite, he also worked in Oregon's Columbia River area and Washington in the 1860s. He exhibited in San Francisco a variety of mountain scenes including views of Mt Shasta, Mt Hood, and Lake Tahoe.

Returning to the East in 1867, he exhibited these scenes to an enthusiastic audience. A trip was made to Europe where he sketched in France, the Pyranees, and Swiss Alps before returning to San Francisco in 1869. He painted about 80 paintings in California and received high praise from the local press.

His work commanded large sums of money during his lifetime. Butman was just beginning to do some of his finest work when he returned to Maine for a family visit and died unexpectedly in Gardiner on July 26, 1871.

Mechanics' Institute (SF), 1857-84
California State Fair, 1859-61
California Art Union, 1865
National Academy of Design, 1867
Pennsylvania Academy, 1868
San Francisco Art Association, 1872

Oakland Museum
Bancroft Library and UC Museum (Berkeley)
Society of California Pioneers;
California Historical Society

Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America (Groce, George C. and David H. Wallace); Artists of the American West (Samuels); Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); California State Library (Sacramento); First 100 Years of Painting in California (J. Van Nostrand); Pacific Monthly, July 1863; Gardiner Home Journal, 7-26-1871 and SF Daily Alta, 8-16-1871 (obits).

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.

Biography from the Archives of askART
Biography photo for Frederick Butman
Frederick A. Butman was born in Gardiner, Maine in 1820, and died there in 1871. He was a landscape painter active from 1857 until his death. Butman owned a drugstore in Gardiner until 1857, when he moved to San Francisco.

He was listed in the San Francisco city directory from 1859 to 1871. From 1860 to 1865, he explored a thousand miles up the Columbia River. He became one of the first American artists to do an oil on canvas painting of Yosemite Falls in Yosemite Park, something he likely did on a visit in 1857.

Called a "showy" painter, Butman is said to have sold landscape paintings in California for as much as $8,000 in gold.

He exhibited paintings at the National Academy of Design in 1867. He showed On Bear River at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1868, giving his address as New York City. He is known to have sketched in Europe in the summer of 1869.

Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Amy Scott, Art of an American Icon---Yosemite
Styles / Movements California School, Realism
Incollect Reference Number 397169
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