Artist Biography


Joseph Britton (1825-1901) was born in Yorkshire, England in 1825. He immigrated to the United States in 1835 and by 1847 was working in New York City as a lithographer. After joining the Gold Rush to San Francisco in 1849, he was a partner in the lithography firm of Pollard & Britton. He later established his own business in association with brother-in-law, Jacques J. Rey. He was also active as a supervisor in San Francisco on the People's Party ticket and provided financing for Hallidie's first cable car line. Britton died on July 18, 1901 in San Francisco where a street is named for him. Jacques Joseph Rey (1820-1892) was born in Bouxvwiller, Alsace on July 7, 1820. He studied art and lithography in France before joining the Gold Rush to California via Panama in 1852. Settling in San Francisco, he established a lithography business with his brother-in-law Joseph Britton. The firm was one of the earliest and most successful of its kind and continued for several decades printing views of California and other commercial work. The Rey home in San Francisco was a beautiful place overlooking the bay and was a gathering place for artistic society for many years. Many treasured possessions of the Rey family were lost in the fire of 1906. Britton lived with Rey and his wife; their partnership resulted in some of the most notable lithography done in California during the nineteenth century. Rey died in San Francisco on May 25, 1892. Works held: Society of California Pioneers.

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