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William Lewis Marple

Landscape painter. Born in New York City on February 16, 1827. Sailing by clipper ship to San Francisco via Panama in 1849, Marple mined for awhile in the mother lode country around Placerville. Abandoning his pursuit of gold, he worked as a sign and house painter in that area and, as a self-taught artist, began painting landscapes.

After moving to San Francisco in 1866, he established a studio at 432 Montgomery Street and in 1867 participated in a sale of paintings with several other artists including Denny ( Countrywide Collection), Young, Holdredge and Bush. He visited Paris, Munich and, after a short stay in New York City, returned to San Francisco in 1871. In that year he was instrumental in founding the San Francisco Art Association and entered thirty six pictures in the association's first exhibition. The silver-gray effects of his paintings received favorable comments at the annual Mechanics' Institute Fairs.

Solomon Gump became his friend and patron, and in 1872 they opened a gallery called, "Marple &Gump's, Importers of Painting." Gump provided the financial backing and was exclusive agent in the sale of Marple's paintings.

During the 1870's, Marple was considered one of the top artists in San Francisco and was financially successful. In 1877, he left San Francisco for New York City and during 1879-1880 was active in Chicago and St. Louis where he was founder and director of the St. Louis Art Association. In October of 1880, he was in Colorado doing prospecting and painting with Harvey Otis Young. He died in Aspen, Colorado on February 23, 1910.

Public Collections:
Society of California Pioneers
Oakland Museum
Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento, California
California Historical Society

California Landscape Painting 1860-1885
Art and Artists in Santa Cruz Catalog
Samuels' Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
Artists in California 1786-1940

Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton

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