Edgar Payne

Biography

Edgar Payne was born in Washburn, Missouri in 1882 and from an early age his goal was to become a painter. Primarily self taught, he did study briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago and began his career designing and painting scenery for the stage and murals for homes and theaters. Crisscrossing the United States, Mexico, Canada and Europe, it was the American West that most appealed to his heart.

Recognized as one of California’s leading landscape artists, Payne earned the respect of his peers and art critics for his Impressionistic landscapes painted in the plein-air style. Lured by the quality of light and freedom to paint open spaces and possessing a reverence for nature, he especially loved the mountains and frequently took pack horses into the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range to paint and sketch the upper lakes. Payne Lake was named in his memory.

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