Established in 1872as the first national park in the United States, Yellowstone became a popular destination for wealthy tourists in the 1880s. Courting these potential buyers, Brown distributed a promotional brochure promising paintings with “all the truths in color of that famous locality, together with such artistic effect as will make them appreciable to all who have visited.” The first professional African American artist on the West Coast, Brown left a career as a lithographer in San Francisco in order to paint the landscapes of the West and Pacific Northwest.


  • Title: A Yellowstone Geyser
  • Creator: Grafton Tyler Brown
  • Date Created: 1887
  • Physical Dimensions: 28 x 11 in.
  • Provenance: By 2009, private collection, Oregon; August 3, 2009, California and American Paintings and Sculpture Sale #17326, Bonhams and Butterfields, San Francisco, lot 13, to the MFA.
  • Subject Keywords: African American Artist
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Emily L. Ainsley Fund and The Heritage Fund for a Diverse Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. All Rights Reserved.
  • External Link: MFA Website Entry
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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