William Bliss Baker Biography

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 William Bliss Baker (1859-1886)


William Bliss Baker, a landscape painter of masterful execution, was born in New York City in 1859 and spent his childhood in the village of Ballston Spa.   His talent for art became apparent at an early age.   Beginning regular art studies at the National Academy of Design at the age of seventeen, Baker won the Elliott prize for drawing in 1879.   He is also noted as having studied under M.F.H. de Haas and with the panoramic landscape artist Albert Bierstadt.


Baker maintained a studio in up-state New York above Albany and began exhibiting yearly at the National Academy in 1881.   Although not yet twenty-five, he entered the forefront of landscape painting in 1885 when he won the Hallgarten prize.   The artist sought to express Nature in his own unique, precise and "truthful" style reminiscent of the earlier Hudson River School.


Baker's untimely death in 1886 at the early age of twenty seven was caused by a spinal injury incurred while 
ice skating.   The New York Evening Post stated in his obituary: "The young artist was animated from 
his earliest years, and this, aided by his great industry and energy, was among the chief elements of his 
success in the line of art he had chosen."
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