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Gideon Jacques Denny (1830-1886)
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Along with William Coulter and Joseph Lee, Gideon Jacques Denny was one of only three 19th century artists on the West Coast who could be considered marine specialists. He was born in Wilmington Delaware and as a youth worked as a sailor of small craft on Chesapeake Bay. He came to California during the Gold Rush in 1849 and worked as a teamster on the waterfront and was a member of the Vigilance Committee. After two years in California, he opted for a career as an artist and went to Milwaukee where he studied under Samuel Marsden Brookes for six years. Returning to San Francisco he established a studio on Bush Street. In 1862 Brookes joined him and the two shared the Bush Street studio. Although he painted a few portraits and landscapes, it was his paintings of clippers and shipping activities on San Francisco Bay that brought him success and fame. He traveled widely, visiting Hawaii, Canada and South America. As a member of a surveying party to Cambria, California in 1886, Denny contracted malaria and died on October 7. Denny's works are held in the collections of; San Francisco's National Maritime Historical Park; Oakland Museum; Bohemian Club; Monterey Peninsula Museum; Crocker Museum; De Young Museum; California Historical Society, University of California Berkeley Museum. 



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