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George Douglas Brewerton   Click Images to Enlarge

George Douglas Brewerton
Rocky Coastline, Maine, 1897 Pastel on paper board
14 x 22 ½ inches
George Douglas Brewerton
Fishing, Mount Desert, Maine, 1857
Oil on canvas
10 x 14 inches
George Douglas Brewerton

(American, 1827-1901)

George Douglas Brewerton was a sketch artist, journalist, a Yankee Protestant pastor, author and army officer. He specialized in painting landscapes and marines. He was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1827 and as a young boy traveled with his father, a Brigadier General and from 1845-1852 was superintendent of West Point Academy. The artist moved to Brooklyn, NY in 1854 and moved to Newport in 1859 and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after studying with Robert Weir at the school. He was a member of the Annie Wright Seminary Art Club in 1889 but did not like to join organization, for some reason.

Brewerton is known for painting tightly executed western landscapes and New England marines in oil and pastels. After volunteering for the army in California (1846) when the war with Mexico was imminent. He sketched in San Francisco, California in 1847 and in April 1847 painted in Vera Cruz, NM. In 1848, he met Kit Carson in Los Angeles and two traveled together to Kansas, Arizona and New Mexico. Brewerton served the army in Fort McIntosh near Laredo, TX and resigned in 1852 to return to art and journalism (becoming a special correspondent for the New York Herald. In 1853 contributed illustrated articles about his trip with Kit Carson to the paper and to Harper's magazine. In 1854, he wrote in Kansas about events that led to the Civil War, studied law and was admitted to the Kansas Bar. He then moved to NYC and exhibited in art at the National Academy. In 1858, he helped his father fortify forts in South Carolina. His exhibited works indicate that he traveled widely, from California to the tropics and to Ireland. He also painted in the Adirondack, Catskill and White Mountains and along the New England coast to northern Maine and the Bay of Fundy. During the Civil War, manuals illustrated and written by Brewerton were used widely to instruct recruits.

From 1866-67, Brewerton was pastor of a Baptist Church in Annville, PA, then he moved to Brooklyn and wrote books and poetry and illustrated Julian Hawthorne’s History of Washington. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York City (1854-55, western scenes), at the Brooklyn Art Association in 1867, 1871-77 and at the Western Washington Industrial Exposition in 1891. His work is in the permanent collection of the Oakland Museum, CA, the Butler Art Institute and the Corcoran Gallery (Washington, DC). He died in Fortham, NY in 1901.


References: Groce & Wallace; Cowdrey, National Academy of Design; Trip and Cook, Washington State Art and Artists; Who Was Who in American Art, vol. 1, p. 436; Hill, Patricia, The American Frontier (1973); Dawdy, D., Artists of the American West (1985); Hughes, Artists in California (2002); Powers, Texas Painters & Sculptors (2000); Moure, N., California Art (1998); White, Robert, New Mexico Art History (1996); Axelrod, Art of the Golden West (1990); Samuels, Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West