Benjamin Brown (1865-1942)
Benjamin Brown was born in Marion, Arkansas in 1865. Brown studied at the nearby University of Tennessee, as well as the St. Louis School of Fine Arts. In 1890, accompanied by fellow early California plein air painter William Griffith, Benjamin Brown went to Paris for a year of study at the Academie Julian. Upon his return to the U.S., Brown worked as a portrait and still life painter in Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas.
In 1896, Benjamin Brown moved to Pasadena, where he was introduced to what would be his signature subject; the poppy fields of California. Upon his arrival in California, Brown turned his attention to landscape painting, a move that would bring him great success. It’s said that his poppy paintings were such fast sellers that they were often still wet when they went to their buyer’s homes. Though a skilled watercolorist, Brown’s primary medium was oil, and he also co-founded the Printmakers of Los Angeles in 1914. A member of the California Art Club and the Pasadena Society of Artists, Benjamin Brown lived in Pasadena, California, until his death in 1942.