|William Marple |
Born in New York City on February 16, 1827. Sailing by clipper ship to San Francisco via Panama in 1849, Marple mined for a while in the Mother Lode country around Placerville. Abandoning his pursuit of gold, he worked as a sign and house painter in that area and, as a self-taught artist, began painting landscapes. After moving to San Francisco in 1866, he established a studio at 432 Montgomery and in 1867 participated in a sale of paintings with several other artists including Denny, Young, Holdredge, and Bush. In 1869 he made a trip to Europe to study the Old Masters. He visited Paris, Munich and, after a short stay in New York, returned to San Francisco in 1871. In that year he was instrumental in co-founding the San Francisco Art Association and entered 36 pictures in the association's first exhibition.
The silver-gray effects of his paintings received favorable comments at the annual Mechanics' Institute Fairs. Solomon Gump became his friend and patron, and in 1872 they opened a gallery called, "Marple & Gump's, Importers of Paintings". Gump provided the financial backing and was exclusive agent for the sale of Marple's paintings. During the 1870's Marple was considered one of the top artists in San Francisco and was financially successful. In 1877 he left San Francisco for New York and during 1879-80 was active in Chicago and St. Louis where he was founder and director of the St. Louis Art Association. In 1880 he was in Colorado prospecting and painting with Harvey Otis Young. He died in Aspen, Colorado on February 23, 1910.
Exhibited: Mechanics' Institute, San Francisco, 1868-78; Snow & Roos, San Francisco, 1869; San Francisco Art Association, 1872-77.
Works Held: Oakland Museum; Crocker Museum, Sacramento; California Historical Society; Society of California Pioneers.
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.