William Jacob Baer was a leading exponent of the idealized image in America at the end of the 19th century. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he had studied at the Royal Academy in Munich, Germany, where in 1880 he was awarded four medals. Returning to America, he settled in Montclair, New Jersey, then a popular gathering place for artists. Until 1892, Baer specialized in portraits and scenes of daily life; for the remainder of his career, he devoted himself to miniatures. In New York (1897), Paris (1900), Buffalo (1901), and San Francisco (1915), he won prizes for his portraits and idealized subjects.