August H. Becker

German 1821 - 1887

August H. Becker was born in Bonn, Germany and moved with his parents to St. Louis, Missouri when he was three years old. At the age of ten he showed a fondness for art, which he is said to have picked up from his artistic mother. Today he is known primarily for his paintings of Indian genre as well as portraits and murals.

Becker studied under Leon Pomarade, the noted European artist. It is also believed that he worked with P. Snell at New Orleans. One of the greatest artistic influences of his life was his famous half-brother, Carl Wimar, who was twelve years older.
Becker was a leading artist of his period but never attained the notoriety of his brother. Wimar catapulted himself to fame by painting Indians of the American frontier, primarily as a chronicler of the upper Missouri River. He began traveling up the Missouri on fur company steamboats, sketching Indian life and landscapes. These scenes were transformed into pictures that depicted Indian life in the last few years before Anglo settlement.

Together the two brothers produced murals, which decorated the dome of the old courthouse in Saint Louis in 1861. He frescoed the dome and his brother painted eight pictures in the dome. Becker received $1,000.00, then a hefty sum, for his part in the commission. For at least five year of Becker's life, he devoted himself to perpetuating the memory of his brother, who died of consumption in 1862. He completed many of Wimar's charcoal sketches of the upper Missouri.

Becker's works are held in numerous collections including the Harmsen Collection, Missouri Historical Society, Montana Historical Society and the Saint Louis Courthouse.

Becker was among the leading artists of his period.

Source: AskArt Submitted by The Thomas Nygard Gallery, Bozeman, Montana