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Peter Baumgras (American, 1827-1904)

The art historian William Gerdts wrote of Peter Baumgras: "He is now more distinguished as Washington's finest master of still life, who created lovely, often quite simple flower and fruit paintings in the engaging botanical manner of the period." Born in Bavaria, Baumgras studied at the Dusseldorf Academy and the Royal Academy in Munich before settling in Washington, D.C. in 1857, where he specialized in still lifes with an intentional Shaker-like modesty. During the fifteen years that he lived there, Baumgras helped found the Washington Art Association, taught at Columbian University, and painted a portrait of Abraham Lincoln (1865). His paintings can be viewed at the New York Historical Society; Ford's Theatre and Museum, Washington, D.C.; George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; New Haven Colony Historical Society; and Oakland Museum, California.

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