Brown John George
John George Brown (November 11, 1831 – February 8, 1913), British
and American painter, was born in Durham, England, on 11 November
1831. He studied at Newcastle-on-Tyne, in the Edinburgh Academy. His
parents apprenticed him to a glass worker at the age of fourteen, in
an attempt to dissuade him from pursuing painting. After moving to
New York City in 1853, he studied with Thomas Seir Cummings at the
National Academy of Design, where he was a National Academician from
1861-1863. He was the Academy's vice-president from 1899 to 1904.
Around 1855 he married the daughter of his employer, the owner of a
Brooklyn glass company. His father-in-law continued to encourage his
artistic abilities, supporting him financially so Brown could paint
full time. In 1866 he became one of the charter members of the
Water-Color Society, of which he was president from 1887 to 1904.
Brown became famous for his depictions of street urchins he found on
the streets of New York, like bootblacks, street musicians, posy
sellers, newsboys, etc. His Passing Show (Paris, Salon, 1877) and
Street Boys at Play (Paris Exhibition, 1900) are good examples of
his popular talent. Brown's art is best characterized as British
genre paintings adapted to American subjects. Essentially literary,
it is executed with precise detail, but is poor in color, and more
popular with the general public than with connoisseurs.