Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Shirlaw, Walter

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SHIRLAW, Walter, artist, b. in Paisley, Scotland, 6 Aug., 1838. He came to the United States with his parents in 1840, and later followed for some time the occupation of bank-note engraving. He first exhibited at the National academy in 1861, and subsequently decided to devote himself altogether to art. He was elected an academician of the Chicago academy of design in 1868. In 1870-'7 he studied in Munich, under George Raab, Richard Wagner, Arthur George von Ramberg, and Wilhelm Lindenschmidt. His first work of importance was the “Toning of the Bell” (1874), which was followed by “Sheep-shearing in the Bavarian Highlands” (1876). The latter, which is probably the best of his works, received honorable mention at the Paris exposition in 1878. Other notable works from his easel are “Good Morning,” in the Buffalo academy (1878); “Indian Girl” and “Very Old” (1880); “Gossip” (1884); and “Jealousy” (1886), owned by the Academy of design, New York. His largest work is the frieze for the dining-room in the house of Darius O. Mills, New York. Mr. Shirlaw has also earned an excellent reputation as an illustrator. He was one of the founders of the Society of American artists, and was its first president. On his return from Europe he took charge of the Art students' league, New York, and for several years taught in the composition class. He became an associate of the National academy in 1887, and an academician the following year.