Life and work of George Caleb Bingham
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Attracted by the artists of the periods of great art activity, we are likely to forget those who have kept the light burning when conditions have been most unfavorable. The wonder is often expressed concerning Bingham that he should have turned to art at all in his pioneer country, where thought was only for the necessities of life. And yet he made it his life work. True, his virility, positive convictions and lively interest led him into politics again and again, only to return, however, with renewed interest to his profession. Bingham, I am convinced, was more successful in his line of work, the delineation of contemporary life, than was any other American artist of his time. For this reason, I have undertaken this study in an endeavor to bring together the facts of his life while they are still available and, by setting forth the character of his work, to make some estimate of his place in American art.