George Elbert Burr
was born in
Monroe Falls, Ohio. When he was ten years old his family moved to
Cameron, Missouri. Using a rail pass purchased by his father's
hardware store for buying trips; he began traveling around the region
sketching the landscapes. He began to make etchings on scraps of zinc
while still working with his father. He enrolled in the Art Institute
of Chicago in December of 1878 for three months.
He return to
Cameron, where he worked at the store and married Elizabeth Rogers.
While still working at the store he becoming employed as an instructor
of drawing and, eventually, an illustrator for such publications as
Scribnerís, Harperís, The Observer,
Leslieís Illustrated Newspaper and The Cosmopolitan. In
1892, Burr undertook a four-year project to illustrate a catalog of
the Metropolitan Museum of Artís Heber R. Bishop Collection of jade.
The work was arduous, amounting to a thousand of etchings for the
collection, but earned him enough money to travel to Europe, with his
wife, for more than four years
Returning to the
United States, Burr settled in New Jersey, where he earned a living
selling paintings and prints in galleries from New York to Kansas
City. His health began to rapidly deteriorate and they moved to
Denver, Colorado in 1906. George completed "Mountain Moods", one of
the two famous etching series he would complete during his lifetime.
He became a member of the Brooklyn Society of Etchers and the New York
Society of Etchers and traveled throughout Southern California,
Arizona and New Mexico.
As Burr aged his health worsened and,
in 1924, he moved with his wife to Phoenix. In Phoenix, Burr served as
president of the Phoenix Fine Arts Association. He would remain in
Phoenix until his death in 1939.
Mark Sublette, Medicine Man Gallery, Inc)
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