The Comprehensive Keith

The Comprehensive Keith The Comprehensive Keith

The Hundred Year History of the Saint Mary's College Collection of Works by William Keith.


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Beginning with his 1838 birth in Scotland to his arrival in California in 1859, the book chronicles Keith's artistic journey. His early paintings captured the drama and breathtaking beauty of the Western wilderness; by the 1890s, his landscapes had become subtle, intimate scenes that revealed his artistic and spiritual maturity.

Keith's combination of artistic genius, business acumen, strong personality and hard work enabled him to build a prestigious reputation on both coasts and a financially successful career. The book also chronicles Keith's friendship with the great naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, John Muir, which lasted until Keith's death in 1911. At the end of their long careers, the two early preservationists put up a noble but ultimately unsuccessful fight to stop the damming of the spectacular Hetch Hetchy Valley.

The book is the latest, and most comprehensive of the Gallery’s interpretive Keith projects. 232 pages, 266 color illustrations.