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John Bard
Date: American, 1815 - 1856
Remarks: John and James Bard grew up on Elm Street, in New York City, the sons of an English-born father and Scottish-born mother. The brothers began painting steamboat portraits when they were twelve years old; by 1836 they had begun to date their work, and two years later they were listed in the New York City Directory as "painters." After 1839, however, the brothers went their separate ways. While James continued to have a successful career rendering watercolors of the city's steamboats, after leaving the city for a few years, John showed up in November 1855 in the almshouse on Blackwell's Island in the East River, where he was described as a "destitute painter." He was readmitted in June 1856, after which he contracted ersipalis (an incurable staph infection of the nose), was transferred to the Island's hospital, and died on October 18, 1856