George Caleb Bingham (March 20, 1811-July 7, 1879) was an American realist artist, whose work depicts American life in the frontier lands, along the Missouri River. Born in Virginia, Bingham's family moved to Missouri when he was eight years old. He apprenticed with a cabinet maker and with a portrait artist, identified by some as Chester Harding. He spent three months at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, but returned to Missouri, whose landscapes figured prominently in his work. From 1856 to 1859, Bingham studied art in Düsseldorf, Germany. Critics claim that this caused him to abandon the rustic American style in his art. Upon his return, he began painting less, turning to politics in the post-Civil War years and serving as state treasurer and adjutant general. Toward the end of his life he was professor of art at the University of Missouri.