biography of Henry BEBIE (1824-1888)

Birth place: Switzerland

Death place: Baltimore, MD

Addresses: Richmond, VA, 1842; Baltimore, MD, from 1846

Profession: Miniaturist, portrait, and genre painter

Exhibited: Md. Hist. Soc.

Work: Peale Museum (Baltimore)

Comments: Emigrated from Zurich to Richmond (VA). After a brief stay in the Western part of Virginia he was in Baltimore by 1844. Was a highly prolific and successful portraitist in that city but also created genre pictures. Some of his interior scenes, which typically included a group of women in the process of dressing or grooming and/or a group of several women and men in conversation, have been interpreted as representions of Baltimore's most stylish brothels (see Earley and Snow). Cf. Henry Braby.

Sources: G&W; 7 Census (1850), Md., V, 143; G&W has date of death courtesy of Dr. H.W. Williams, Jr., of the Corcoran Gallery; Baltimore CD 1853, 1858, 1860, 1865, 1867, 1874, 1877; Lafferty, cites Baltimore CD 1873-75, 1877, for Henry Bebee; Rutledge, MHS; Pleasants, 250 Years of Painting in Md., 47-48 with repro. More recently, see Wright, Artists in Virgina Before 1900 (who gives a birth date of c. 1824); Gerdts, Art Across America, vol 1, 328, who cites Mary Dawn Earley and Richard F. Snow, Baltimore, Through a Glass Darkly," American Heritage vol. 24 (April 1973): 48-55."