Albert Bierstadt (b.1830-d.1902) was born in Solingen, Germany, and was two years old when his family moved to America and settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
In 1854 he returned to Dusseldorf, Germany to study painting. He returned to the United States three years later and organized an exhibition in New Bedford of 150 paintings, including works of all the major artists of his day. In December, 1857 the Boston Athenaeum bought one of his works, The Portico of Octavia Rome, thus assuring his career.
In 1859 he was invited to join General Lander's expedition to survey a wagon route to the Pacific. This was the first of three trips west by Bierstadt. While on these trips he would make oil sketches on paper. When he returned to his studio, he used these sketches and oil studies to paint huge, detailed panoramic views of Western scenery. His paintings emphasized the spectacular landscapes, sometimes exaggerating what he had seen and changing a few details to make the scene more interesting. Sometime in 1859 or 1860, Bierstadt visited New Hampshire with his brother, Edward, working in the then new medium of photography. He stayed at the Conway House in Conway. He also spent considerable time at the Glen House in 1869 while at work on Emerald Pool, which he considered his finest work.
He exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum from 1859 to 1864,at the Brooklyn Art Association from 1861 to 1879, and at the Boston Art Club from 1873 to 1880. A member of the National Academy of Design from 1860 to 1902, he kept a studio in the 10th Street Studio Building, New York City from 1861 to 1879. He was a member of the Century Association from 1862 to 1902.
Bierstadt became internationally reknowned for his beautiful and enormous paintings of the newly accessible American west, and his works found their way into public and private collections at staggeringly high prices for his time.
Bierstadt died in New York City on February 18, 1902. He is buried in Rural Cemetery, New Bedford, Massachusetts.