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Image courtesy of British Columbia Archives [A-08775]

Grafton Taylor Brown

Most of the African-American population in San Francisco worked as laborers or domestic servants, but the docks provided a wider array of jobs than other areas of the state. Although relatively small, a black elite emerged. Grafton Taylor Brown (1842-1918) was one of the West's most important landscape artists. He was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. By 1861, he had moved to San Francisco where he was employed as a draftsman and lithographer. A seasoned traveler, Brown recorded many of the magnificent landscapes of the West and Canada. In 1867, he founded his own business, and became known for his handsome stock certificates and lithographs of California. Two years later, he moved to Victoria, British Columbia, and participated in a Canadian government geological survey, for which he produced many pencil sketches. From 1892 to 1897, Brown lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he worked as a draftsman for the United States Army Engineers and St. Paul Civil Engineering Department. After suffering an illness for five years, he died in 1918. He posed for this portrait in his San Francisco studio in 1883.

Hide indexing information
Image ID: 06_075
Title: Grafton Tyler Brown.
Created: 1883
Location: Image courtesy of British Columbia Archives [A-08775]
Subjects: African American artists
African American pioneers
Brown, Grafton Tyler, 1841-1918
Frontier & pioneer life -- California

Keywords: Artists
Brown, Grafton Tyler
Men - United States
Migration - Western
San Francisco, California
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