September 11, 1829 - June 30, 1908
Brother Thomas Hill was a noted American artist of the 19th century noted for his many paintings of the California landscape, in particular of the Yosemite Valley, and of the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
When he moved to California 1861 he produced numerous paintings of monumental scope, including vistas of the Great Canon of the Sierra, Yosemite, Vernal Falls, and Yosemite Valley, which many consider to be his best works. His 1865 View of the Yosemite Valley, commemorating Lincoln's 1864 signing of the Yosemite Grant, was chosen to be the backdrop of the head table at Barack Obama's inaugural luncheon.
Brother Hill's most famous and enduring work captures the driving of the "Last Spike" at Promontory Summit in the Utah Territory, on May 10, 1869, joining the rails of the Central Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad. The huge 8x12 foot painting, which features detailed portraits of 71 individuals associated with the First Transcontinental Railroad, now hangs at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California.