BINGHAM, George Caleb
(b. 1811, Augusta County, d. 1879, Kansas City)
American painter. He worked mainly in Missouri (where he held several political posts), painting the life of the frontier people. Except for a short period studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, he was self-taught. His finest canvases, particularly the celebrated Fur Traders Descending the Missouri (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1845), distil visual poetry from the commonplace, but after a trip to study in Düsseldorf in 1856-58 his work lost much of its racy freshness and charm, becoming overlaid with sentimentality.