Lot 265 of 395:
ALs 1890 San Francisco Artist, John Muir Friend,  

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Lot closed - unsold
$80 - $120

Autograph Letter Signed - 1890 John Muir Friend who Painted Emperor Norton

Irwin, Benoni

New York


March 4, 1890


3 pp.

To Miss Peckham: “Your photograph did not turn out so well as I hoped. I only got five worth printing out of the eight plates exposed…I don’t see anything in the lot enclosed that I should care to found a portrait on but some suggest effects worth experimenting further with…the dress is going to answer very nicely. I shall have to make other photographs and probably quite a number of them under the light in which the picture is to be painted before beginning it, but these will be useful in showing something about how it will be best to proceed. They are just fixed in Hypo and not very well washed so they won’t last very long…” Portrait painter Benoni Burdeau Irwin (1840-1896), born in Canada and trained in New York and Paris, lived much of his later life on the East coast, but the five years he spent in San Francisco after the Civil War were among the most eventful of his career. He married the daughter of a Gold Rush Forty-Niner, became a close friend of John Muir’s after visiting Yosemite in company with William Keith, and painted the portraits of many notable San Franciscans, including the Presidents of the San Francisco Stock Exchange and the Bohemian Club – and the famous eccentric “Emperor” Norton.

Lot Amendments

Tiny nick at edge; very good.

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