William Jacob Baer was at the forefront of the miniature-painting revival in the late 1890s. He began his formal training at the Munich Royal Academy, where he won several medals and was one of the few students to have his work purchased by the board of directors. He returned to the United States in 1895, and spent several years teaching painting and illustration. In 1892, influenced by patron Alfred Corning Clark, he began painting miniatures. He was a founder of the American Society of Miniature Painters and eventually served as its president and treasurer for twenty-five years.