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E A (Elbridge Ayer) Burbank

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin:
Last known City: San Francisco
Last known State: CA
Start/Birth date: 1858
Death/End date: 1949

Elbridge Burbank was a tireless and prolific painter of the North American Indian, who began work in the period after the close of the frontier in the 1890s and continued well into this century. He began working as an illustrator for the Northwest magazine of the Northern Pacific Railway, which afforded him the opportunity to see the Rockies, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Trading Post owner Lorenzo Hubbell became a life-long friend and it is estimated that he worked among as many as 125 tribes, exhibiting more than 1200 works in his lifetime. He studied with and befriended Joseph Sharp and William Leigh and he was inspired to record the aging yet proud features of the great chief, Geronimo. In all, Burbank painted seven portraits at various times of the old warrior, and Geronimo is claimed to have stated that he liked the artist more than any other white man he ever met. The collection of paintings from these travels is in the Newberry Library in Chicago, and another large group of his paintings is at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

 

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