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Norton Bush (1834-1894) was born in Rochester, New York on February 22, 1834. As a teenager he studied in the studios of Jasper Cropsey and James Harris. He received criticism from Frederick Church who was already famous for his lush tropical scenes. It was Church who encouraged Bush to paint tropicals. Bush came to San Francisco in 1853 via the Isthmus of Panama and the Chagres River. He remained in San Francisco with a studio in the Mercantile Bldg except during 1869-72 when he was in New York City, voyages to South America on sketching trips, and a few years when he had a studio in Sacramento. From 1878-80 he was the director of the San Francisco Art Ass’n and art director of the California section at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. In his later years he painted many marines which were not as popular as his tropicals. Bush died in Oakland, California of a heart attack on April 24, 1894. Member: Bohemian Club; San Francisco Art Ass’n. Exhibited: National Academy of Design, 1852, 1871; Mechanics’ Institute (San Francisco), 1858-76; California Art Union, 1865; San Francisco Art Ass’n, 1872-85; California State Fairs (four gold medals). Works held: Society of California Pioneers; Crocker Museum (Sacramento); Oakland Museum; California Historical Society.

– Edan Milton Hughes

This painting is one of five paintings from the Collection of Norton Bush. Bush and Thomas Hill were friends and often painted together. These paintings have never been on the market and have been passed down through the Bush family for over 120 years.

The Artist
Curt Bush (the artist’s great, great, nephew), Sandpoint, Idaho, by descent

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