A Little Accident
The Bear Dance
His Majesty Receives
Caving the Turkey
The Phantom Crane
The Lost Balloon
William Holbrook Beard (1825 - 1900) was an American painter born in Ohio, who specialized in darkly whimsical paintings of animals (most especially bears), usually involved in human-like activities. The paintings were often humorous and satirical in tone.
In 1856 Beard traveled to Italy, Germany and Switzerland then returned home and settled briefly in Buffalo, New York. In 1859 he moved to New York City and opened a studio in the famed 10th Street Studio Building which also housed fellow artists Winslow Homer, Alfred Bierstadt and William Merritt Chase.
In time, Beard became famous for his animal paintings, many of which were allegories of human foibles.
It is possible to see the influence of Beard's travels and his fellow painters in his work, but the satirical edge, the whimsy and the humor are all Beard's. I do love the bear paintings of course, but I must admit my favorite two Beard works are The Lost Balloon and the Santa Claus painting - part of which I'm using in my blog header this month.
William Holbrook Beard - Self Portrait.
To learn more about William Holbrook Beard, please use this link.
William Holbrook Beard is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. It's hard to miss his whimsical memorial there.