George Caleb Bingham - Boonville, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 58.599 W 092° 44.677
15S E 522121 N 4314216
Called the "Missouri Artist", but one of the greats of the past.
Waymark Code: WM1538G
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 10/07/2021
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 0

County of statue: Cooper County
Location of statue: Morgan St. & Main St., Morgan Street Park, Boonville
Artist: Sabra Tull Meyer
Dedicated: June 25, 2005

Plaque Text:

Sculptor: Sabra Tull Meyer   Dedicated June 25, 2005
George Caleb Bingham

One of America's greatest painters, George Caleb Bingham, was known during his lifetime as "the Missouri Artist" for his depictions of frontier life and portraits.

Bingham was born in Augusta County, Virginia, March 20, 1811, and in 1819 the family moved to Franklin, across the Missouri River from Boonville. From 1828 to 1832 he was apprenticed to Justinian Williams, a Boonville Methodist minister, cabinetmaker, and carpenter. While an apprentice he did a portrait of local lawyer Washington Adams and painted a sign of Daniel Boone foe the Judge Dade Hotel. Many more portrait commissions followed. He married his first wife, Sarah Elizabeth Hutchinson, in Boonville in 1836. She died in 1848. He remarried in 1849; his second wife died in 1876. He remarried in 1878 and she survived.

After six years in St. Louis and four in Washington, D.C., he returned to Missouri and in 1845 painted Fur Traders Descending the Missouri, regarded as his masterpiece. For the next twelve years many important works followed. His best genre paintings portrayed life on the river, such as The Jolly Flatboatmen (1846) and Raftsmen Playing Cards (1847), and his great series of political paintings, typified by The County Election (1851), Stump Speaking (1853), and Verdict of the People (1855).

Bingham, the politician, served as state treasurer during the Civil War and as Missouri's adjutant general (1875-1876). Though a Unionist, Bingham disapproved of the harsh treatment of pro-Southern citizens, portraying the cruelty in a large theatrical painting entitled Order No. 11, or Martial Law (1865-1870). From 1877-79 he was the University of Missouri's first professor of art. He died July 7, 1879, in Kansas City and is buried in Union Cemetery.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
"Interest in Bingham and his artwork faded after his death, on July 7, 1879, in Kansas City. In 1933, however, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York bought Fur Traders Descending the Missouri. This purchase sparked interest in Bingham’s work. The St. Louis Art Museum organized a major exhibition of his work in 1934, and Missouri artist Thomas Hart Benton promoted him. Bingham’s drawings and paintings have since been given careful attention, and today he is considered one of America’s greatest and most popular painters." ~ Historic Missourians

Additional point: Not Listed

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