Oil on canvas, 39.38 x 31.38 inches/Signed lower left
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Born in Ottawa, Illinois, his stepmother, a school teacher, encouraged Cameron to take an interest in art and allowed him to use the blackboard to hone his skills; however, his “practical” father got him a job in a local glass factory so as to discourage his artistic bent. Eventually, Cameron and art won out—and during the summers of 1880 and 1881, he took art instruction at the Chicago Academy of Design (now the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts). With the money he saved working at the glass factory and a machine shop, he traveled to New York City in 1882 and enrolled at the Art Students League and took study with plein air artist William Merritt Chase and portraitist Thomas Wilmer Dewing. To further his education, in 1884 Cameron traveled to Paris, France to study at the Académie Julian and Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He returned to Chicago in 1886 and in 1900, applied for, and got, the job as art critic on the Chicago Tribune. In 1892 while working at the Tribune Cameron, along with other Chicago artists, was hired to work on cyclorama, “The Chicago Fire” installed in the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building for the World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago World’s Fair, 1893). After the fair closed, Cameron became one of the most successful muralists in the Mid-West--theaters, banks, courthouses and public buildings in Chicago and other Mid-west towns sported Cameron’s murals. In 1900 he left the Chicago Tribune to concentrate on his painting. Cameron was equally adept in oil, water color and pastel painting and, circa 1901, became one of the founders of the Municipal Art League of Chicago. During the 1920s he revisited Europe from which he produced a number of landscape paintings. In addition to the Municipal Art League, Cameron was a member of the Illinois Academy of Fine Arts. He exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago, 1893); Trans-Mississippi & International Exposition (Omaha, 1898); 1900 Paris Exposition; Pan-American Exposition (Buffalo, 1901); Kansas City Art Institute (1921); Century of Progress and Romany Club (1927), as well as local exhibitions in the Chicago area.