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Henry Joseph Breuer Biography

Active/lived in California, New York
Known for landscape and marine painting, illustration

     Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Henry Breuer earned a reputation as a well-known "painter of poetic landscapes." (Hughes 145)  He studied art during the 1870s in Buffalo, New York, and from 1880-1882 he worked as a designer-decorator for the Rockwood Pottery Company in Cincinnati where he also attended the Art Academy.  During the next five years he was engaged in lithographic work and mural decorations in New York City.

The year 1887 was spent in Salt Lake City as an employee of a decorative painting firm. Breuer made two previous trips to San Francisco before settling there in 1888 where he became art editor for the San Francisco Chronicle and Californian magazine.  At the turn of the century he traveled to Paris for further art study and while there was greatly influenced by Corot and the Barbizon School of impressionist painters of rural landscapes.

Breuer painted along the California coast from Santa Barbara to Oregon working and living out of a horse-drawn wagon, and by 1905 was well known in the U.S. as a painter of poetic California landscape which earned him a national reputation.
He also painted in Arizona including Canyon de Chelly in Navajo country and did commissioned views of the San Gabriel Valley for the St. Louis Exposition in 1904.

After his death in San Francisco on February 19, 1932, a memorial exhibition of his works was held at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor.

Member: Bohemian Club; SFAA/ English Art Club (London); society of American Artists (Paris).

Exhibited: SFAA, 1895, 1904; Mark Hopkins Art Institute (SF), 1896; Cincinnati, 1904; Louisiana Purchase Expo (St. Louis), 1904; Bohemian Club, 1905 (1st prize); Pasadena, 1907; Alaska-Yukon expo (Seattle), 1909 (silver medal); Berlin and Munich, 1910; PPIE, 1915 (gold medal).

In: LACMA; Crocker Museum (Sacramento); Mills College (Oakland); CHS; Bohemian Club; Oakland Museum; Society of California Pi9oneers.

Sources: Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West