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Thomas Hill (American, 1829-1908)
Birth Place: Birmingham (West Midlands, England, United Kingdom)
After emigrating from England to Massachusetts as a teen, Thomas Hill studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Design and painted alongside members of the Hudson River School, notably in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In 1856 Hill and his family moved to San Francisco, and he became quickly revered as the premiere painter of the California landscape, particularly the Yosemite Valley, which he imaged for decades. In 1886 Hill agreed to assume the interim directorship of the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, a post that ultimately proved unwieldy and unfulfilling. When his friend the naturalist John Muir commissioned him to paint Muir Glacier in Alaska the following year, Hill jumped at the opportunity, eager to leave behind his institutional job and unhappy marriage for outdoor adventure. Together the men embarked on a cruise to Alaska, which introduced Hill along the way to new landscapes in the Pacific Northwest and Canada.
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