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Label, Senate Art Loan Program
Exhibition label, Oakland Museum
Exhibition label, Palm Springs Desert Museum

One of the most prominent landscape painters in California in the late nineteenth century, Thomas Hill is widely admired for his paintings of the Pacific Northwest, Yosemite, the Yellowstone region, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Today, his Western landscapes are avidly sought by individual and institutional collectors.

Born in Birmingham, England in 1829, and at the age of fifteen moved with his family to Taunton, Massachusetts. Hill married in 1851 and began his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1853. The following year he joined some of America’s most significant painters in the White Mountains, and exhibited with them in Boston and elsewhere. In 1861, he moved to San Francisco in search of a milder climate, making his first trip to Yosemite a year later. He went to Paris for more study in 1866-67, again trying New England on his return before moving with his family back to San Francisco in 1871.

Hill’s real prominence came in the 1870s. A founding member of the San Francisco Art Association, he became a member of the Bohemian Club, and with increasing prices and growing demand he was a wealthy man by 1878. The general economic depression at the end of that decade effected Hill and other artists of the day. Despite seesawing fortunes, he remained highly productive until 1896 when he suffered the first of a series of strokes from which he never fully recovered. He died in 1908 in Raymond, California.

The Estate of Paul Elcano, Sr., Reno, NV

California State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA, June 7, 1982 - Mar 19, 1999
Tom Hill, The Grand View, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA, Sept 1980 - June 1981
The West as Art, Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA, Feb 24 - May 30, 1982

Marjorie Dakin Arkelian, Thomas Hill: the Grand View (Oakland, CA: The Oakland Museum, 1980), page 29, illustrated

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