Alexander F. Harmer1906

Crocker Art Museum

Crocker Art Museum
Sacramento, United States

In the 1890s, Harmer settled in Santa Barbara and began painting portraits and genre scenes idealizing California’s Mexican era. Once a northern province of Mexico, the California territory was divided into large estates owned by a few prominent Californio families. These ranchos supported vast cattle herds, making ranching the main source of wealth before the Gold Rush.

Considered one of Southern California's first professional artists, Harmer studied art at the Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He went west in 1881 to paint depictions of Native Americans as a member of the Army. The field sketches he made later became subjects for paintings and for illustrations for Harper’s Weekly.


  • Title: Vaqueros
  • Creator: Alexander F. Harmer
  • Date Created: 1906
  • Physical Dimensions: 20 x 29 in. (50.8 cm x 73.66 cm)
  • Provenance: Crocker Art Museum, gift of Roger Christiansen and Gary J. Kinley
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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