German landscape artist Albert Bierstadt was born in Solingen, Germany and, when Bierstadt was two, his family immigrated to New Bedford Massachusetts. Mostly self-taught, Bierstadt took a special interest in painting and began his early career as a drawing teacher. In 1853 he travelled to Dusseldorf, Germany to further refine his techniques and he would travel to Germany several times, always returning to America.
In 1857 Bierstadt joined a survey expedition of the western United States. While traveling, he photographed and sketched, these were studies that were used to create paintings once home. That same year, Bierstadt also sold one of his first works to the Boston Athenaeum. Bierstadt owned a studio on 10th Street Studio Building in New York but it was at his Conway House in New Hampshire where he was most inspired.
Bierstadt is considered part of the Hudson River School as well as the Rocky Mountain School because of his luminous style and his many landscapes of the American West. He had exhibitions throughout his lifetime at the Boston Athenaeum, the Brooklyn Art Association, and the Boston Art Club. He was a part of the National Academy of Design and the Century Association.
Largely forgotten at the time of his death, epic works like his were no longer in fashion. But Bierstadt’s stunning landscapes of Yosemite Valley, the Rockies, Yellowstone, and many others have brought his work to a new audience interested in conserving these extraordinary places.