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Nicholas Richard Brewer (1857-1949)
A prominent 19th century portrait and landscape painter in Minnesota, New York and Texas, Nicholas Richard Brewer was born in High Forest, Minnesota in 1857 and was raised on a farm along the Root River in southeastern Minnesota. He was a prolific artist who focused on landscapes and portraits. He began his studies in Rochester, Minnesota before going to New York City where he studied with Charles Noel Flagg and Dwight Tryon. After studying in New York, he returned to Minnesota and set up a studio in St. Paul. He painted a crucifixion in the Cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota as well as portraits of many prominent persons in his native state.
Exhibition venues include the Minnesota State Art Society, the Minneapolis Art Institute, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh. Also his work is represented in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery, Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Institution and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to name a few.
He was a member of the American Federation of Arts, the California Art Club and the Salmagundi Club.
Brewer wrote an autobiography, "Trails of a Paintbrush," published in 1938. It describes his life growing up in rural Minnesota, his travels to St. Paul and later to New York, and his attempts to provide for his family, including artist son Adrian, while becoming a renowned artist. Additionally, it contains Brewer's insights into the art world of the late nineteenth century American and the process by which cultural institutions and patronage spread across the nation.