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Albert Bierstadt Portrait

Albert Bierstadt

Solingen, Germany 1830

New York, New York 1902

Active in:

  • California
  • Irvington, New York

Photo Caption:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution


Born in Germany. Immigrated to the United States as a child. Paintings show an idealistic view of the American wilderness.

Nora Panzer, ed. Celebrate America in Poetry and Art (New York and Washington, D.C.: Hyperion Paperbacks for Children in association with the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1994)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Albert Bierstadt was one of the first painters to capture the grandeur of the American West. His family emigrated from Germany in 1832 and settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He traveled to Wyoming, California, and Oregon, and turned his New York studio into a museum where people could see his paintings amid a vast collection of animal skins and Native American artifacts. Bierstadt’s “great pictures” show sweeping vistas of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, proving that America’s natural wonders rivaled the great ruins of Europe. His popularity declined toward the end of his life, however, and despite many attempts to sell his paintings to Congress, he narrowly avoided bankruptcy in 1895. (Anderson and Ferber, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 1990)