1867 - 1933
William Barr was born in Glasgow, Scotland on April 26, 1867. He began his art career as a student at the Glasgow School of Art (1895-98) followed by work at South Kensington (London) and Académie Julian in Paris (1904). He then taught at the Paisley School of Art in Scotland for 10 years. After earning a reputation in his native land, he first visited California in 1912 and after joining the throngs who came to San Francisco for the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915, decided to remain. Working from a studio in his home at 311 Lyon Street, he painted romantic and historical interpretations of California including genre scenes, figure studies, and landscapes as well as many portraits of prominent local citizens. Having studied the Old Masters, he carried their spirit into his work. Barr died in San Francisco on February 25, 1933. Exhibited: San Francisco Art Ass'n, 1918-19; Fairmont Hotel, 1930; California State Fair, 1930; City of Paris (San Francisco), 1939 (solo). Works held: San Francisco's Palace Hotel (portrait, President Hoover); California Historical Society; San Francisco Parks Commission (portrait of John McClaren); San Francisco Union League Club (portrait of John McNab); San Francisco City Hall (portrait of Thomas Boyle); City of Paisley collection.
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