Alexander Harmer, (1856-1926)

Native American Artists & Artworks

Indian Chief (courtesy of Farhat Art Museum) by Alexander Harmer, (1856-1926) Indian Chief (courtesy of Farhat Art Museum) by Alexander Harmer, (1856-1926)

Alexander Harmer, (1856-1926) an American artist.Born in Newark, New Jersey, Alexander Harmer “is considered Southern California’s first great painter of the 19th century” (Edan Hughes).

He began painting as a child, and at age 13 left home and wandered to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he spent three years before joining the army in Cincinnati, Ohio. Stationed in California for two years, he got a discharge to study art at the Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts in Philadelphia with Thomas Eakins and Thomas Anshutz.

In 1881, to get West to paint Indians, he re-enlisted in the Army and was assigned cavalry duty in Arizona. His expeditions against Geronimo and the Apaches earned him the title “Artist of the Apaches,” and his illustrations were in Harper’s Weekly. He took his field sketches and notes of the Apaches, and returned to the…

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