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Grafton Tyler Brown, perhaps the first African American artist to depict California and the Pacific Coast, was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1841. Before he was twenty, Brown moved to San Francisco and learned the art of lithography from C. C. Kuchel. In 1861 and again in 1864, Brown created the two earliest bird's eye views of Virginia City. At the age of twenty-six, he established his own firm, G.T. Brown & Co.

At San Francisco, and elsewhere in California, Brown produced skillfully illustrated bank notes, labels, and maps, and stock certificates for Wells Fargo, Levi Strauss and Co., and several mining companies. His significant lithographic production, The Illustrated History of San Mateo County (1878), featured seventy-two views of the county's communities and ranches. Brown traveled throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, and British Columbia (where he settled in 1882), producing maps and illustrations, including many landscape paintings.

In 1893, Brown secured employment as a draftsman at the St. Paul, Minnesota office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Sometime during his St. Paul years he married Elberta Brown. Brown's work with the Corps of Engineers ended in December 1897, after which he worked in the civil engineering department of the city of St. Paul until 1910. He died on March 3, 1918, in Nicollet County, Minnesota, bringing to a close a rich and varied career as an artist and illustrator of the American West.
 

Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.25 x 9.25 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
88346
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.75 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
88351
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.25 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
88358
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.5 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
88361
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
88362
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.25 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
88363
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.25 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
88364
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.25 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
88365
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.25 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
88366
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.5 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
88371
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
26.25 x 12.25 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
88374

Archived

Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1866
Size:
15.5 x 7.5 inches
Condition:
Fine
Stock#:
3716
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1866
Size:
15.5 x 7.5 inches
Condition:
Fine
Stock#:
0059bm
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1866
Size:
15.5 x 7.5 inches
Condition:
Fine
Stock#:
0060bm
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1866
Size:
15.5 x 7.5 inches
Condition:
Fine
Stock#:
0061bm
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1870 circa
Size:
23 x 22 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
29319
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.25 x 9.25 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
88350
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
88356
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.25 x 9.25 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
88359
Place/Date:
San Francisco / 1878
Size:
12.25 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
88367