The New International Encyclopædia/Shirlaw, Walter

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SHIRLAW, shẽr'la̤, Walter (1838—). An American decorative, landscape, and genre painter and illustrator. He was born at Paisley, Scotland, but was taken to America in 1840. After being employed for many years as bank-note engraver in Chicago, he took up painting. While in Chicago he was one of the prime movers in the organization of the Academy of Design. In 1870-77 he studied at Munich, and while there painted his “Tuning of the Bell” (1874); “Sheep Shearing,” exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1877; and “Good Morning,” now in the Buffalo Academy of Fine Arts. Upon his return to the United States he became professor of the Art Students' League, New York, and was elected National Academician in 1879. He was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists, and its first president. His easel paintings are usually genre subjects, showing fine decorative feeling for line and color, with a tendency toward rich and warm low tones. Among tliem are: “Eager for the Fray;” the “Goose Girl;” “Jealousy;” the “Kiss” the “Barnyard;” and “In Mischief.” His most important decorative work is the frieze for the dining-room in the house of D. O. Mills, New York City, the subject of which is “Peace and Plenty.”