William Bliss Baker
(1859 - 1886)

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Landscape painter William Bliss Baker had gained conspicuous distinction in both oil and watercolor work before a fatal ice skating accident at the age of twenty-seven. He was considered one of America’s most promising young artists. Baker was born in New York City in 1859 and spent his childhood in the town of Ballston Spa, New York. Beginning regular art studies at the National Academy of Design at the age of seventeen, Baker won the Elliott prize for drawing in 1879. He is also noted as having studied under Mauritz de Haas (1832-1895) and with the panoramic landscape artist Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902). He maintained a studio in upstate New York above Albany and began exhibiting yearly at the National Academy in 1881. Although not yet twenty-five, he entered the forefront of landscape painting in 1885 when he won the Academy's Hallgarten Prize. He sought to express the natural world in his own unique, precise, and truthful style.

We quote from his obituary in the New York Evening Post: “The young artist was animated by an intense love of nature, which he manifested from his earliest years, and this, aided by his great industry and energy, was among the chief elements of his success in the line of art he had chosen. His untimely death will be deeply regretted by all who take an intelligent interest in American artistic progress.”





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