William Holbrook Beard Biography
Nineteenth century American artist William Holbrook Beard is best known for his paintings of landscapes, animals and allegorical scenes. Besides his paintings, Beard also did museum designs. However, these were considered too unconventional during his time, and none of his designs came into fruition.
Beard painted a wide range of subjects, including portraits, but his realistic and anthropomorphized animals were his greatest popular success. Bears, squirrels, rabbits, cats, and monkeys were his most frequent stars and the animals with which he is most closely associated today. He even incorporated a number of them in his designs for the tunnel-like entrances to Keep's museum--the most innovative features of his conception. These entrances were intended to replicate the course of cultural evolution from raw nature to the height of modern sophistication.