Artist Biography

David H. WOODS
1830 - 1911

David Holmes Woods was born in Ohio on January 30, 1830. He made the overland trek to California with the Gold Rush. In 1859 he was commissioned by Ansel Easton to paint the portrait of Blackhawk, a famous Irish racehorse which Easton had imported to his property (now the San Francisco Internationall Airport). The Easton ranch, which was part of the Buri Buri land grant, became known as the Blackhawk Ranch in honor of the horse which was the first thoroughbred brought to California for the purpose of breeding and racing. The ranch later moved to the foot of Mt Diablo in Contra Costa County and today is the posh community by that name. (The Blackhawk Museum is named after the horse.) Woods was the first teacher of James E. Stuart in the 1860s. He was a resident of San Francisco (1867-95), Sacramento (1870), and Chico (1881-83). His photographs were exhibited at the California State Fair in 1881. During the 1890s he operated the Pacific Art Gallery at 28 Third Street in San Francisco where he worked as a portrait photographer as well as landscape and portrait painter. Woods died in Sacramento, CA on November 28, 1911. Most of his work went up in flames in the 1906 earthquake and fire; this painting of Blackhawk appears to be the only one extant by Woods. Wood's carte de visite photographs are held at the California Historical Society .

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