George Caleb Bingham (1811–1879) was an artist and politician from Missouri. He was the first American painter with a national reputation to live and work west of the Mississippi. During his teenage years, Bingham pursued various occupations including cabinet-making and a calling to the ministry. It was only when he encountered an itinerant portrait painter in Boonvile, Missouri, that he decided to pursue an artistic career. The self-taught artist began painting portraits in 1833. Bingham was most prolific between 1845 and 1860, and he produced many remarkable artworks that depicted the social and political life on the frontier. He was also active in civic affairs and politics throughout most of his adult life.