Biografie von William Russell BIRCH (1755-1834)

Birth place: Warwickshire (England)

Death place: Philadelphia

Addresses: Philadelphia (1794-on)

Profession: Miniaturist, enamel painter, engraver, and etcher

Studied: Bristol and London

Exhibited: Soc. Artists, London, 1775-94 (enameled miniatures); Columbianum Exh., Phila., 1795; PAFA and Artists' Fund Society, 1811-61; Md. Hist. Soc.; American Academy; Apollo Assoc.

Work: MMA; Hist. Soc. of PA; Mt. Vernon Assn (VA)

Comments: In 1794 he emigrated to America with his son, Thomas Birch, settling in Philadelphia. His enameled miniature portraits brought him great success, and he also worked with his son (as William Birch & Son, 1799-1800) on a series of engravings, Views of Philadelphia, published in 1800. Later, he published another group entitled, Country Seats of America. William Birch published two views of NYC in 1802 and one of Mt. Vernon the following year. About 1813, Birch moved to a country estate, Springland," near Bristol, PA, returning to Philadelphia in 1828.

Sources: G&W; DAB; DNB; Graves, Dictionary; Prime, II, repro. of adv.; Stokes, Iconography, I, 468, plates 76 and 77; Stokes, Historical Prints, 48; Brown and Brown; Phila. CD 1828-31, 1833; Columbianum exh. cat., 1795; Rutledge, PA; Rutledge, MHS; Cowdrey, AA & AAU; Ross, "William Birch;" Davidson, I, 389, repro.; Flexner The Light of Distant Skies biblio, 258. More recently, see 300 Years of American Art, vol. 1, 63; his autobiography, Recollections remains unpublished."

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