|Birth place or City of origin:||Dithmarschen|
|State of origin:||Germany|
|Last known City:||San Francisco|
|Last known State:||CA|
Herman W. Hansen was born in Dithmarschen, Germany in 1854. His father, a draftsman, sent him to Hamburg, Germany when he was sixteen to study under Simmonsen, a painter of battle scenes. In 1876, he studied in England for a year, and then immigrated to New York City. He worked as a commercial artist there and in Chicago where the railroad in 1879 commissioned three paintings. This was Hansen’s first Western experience. In 1882, after further study at the Art Institute of Chicago, he went to California, making San Francisco his permanent home. Hansen made frequent summer sketching trips in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico, accumulating the data for his historically accurate and realistic portrayals.