Artist Biography

1844 - 1900

Joseph A. Harrington was born in Cork, Ireland in 1844. He arrived in San Francisco in 1860 joining his older brother John, a priest who had settled in California several years earlier. As a boy of sixteen at St Mary's College in Oakland, the younger Harrington developed a taste for painting. In 1865 he sailed for Rome where he continued his art studies under several Italian masters. Returning to San Francisco in 1870, he established a studio in the Mercantile Library Bldg where some of the most renowned artists studied under him (Wores, Raschen, Cadenasso). His oeuvre includes portraits, marines, genre, landscapes, and religious subjects. As well as painting, he wrote poetry and possessed a fine operatic singing voice. Poverty stricken, Harrington died in the San Francisco County Hospital on October 21, 1900. Exhibited: Arriola Relief Fund (San Francisco) 1872. Works held: Oakland Museum (portrait of the Palace Hotel chef and a mining scene); De Young Museum.

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