Little is known about W. H. Brown, the artist of four signed works. River Landscape and a painting depicting modes of transportation are both dated 1886, and bear the inscription "Binghamton, New York." A third work may also have upstate New York origins. Of his known oeuvre, only the National Gallery's Bareback Riders has no known association with Binghamton. There are five W. H. Browns listed in the Binghamton city directories between 1885 and 1887. He may have been one of these, whose professions are given as carpenter, machine agent, shoemaker, shopkeeper, and laborer. [This is an edited version of the artist's biography published, or to be published, in the NGA Systematic Catalogue]
Barons, Richard I. The Folk Tradition, Early Arts and Crafts of the Susquehanna Valley. Roberson Center for the Arts and Sciences. Binghamton, New York, 1982: 26.
Chotner, Deborah, with contributions by Julie Aronson, Sarah D. Cash, and Laurie Weitzenkorn. American Naive Paintings. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 32.