Sheldon Parsons was born in Rochester, New York in 1866 and studied at the National Academy of Design. Parsons married a famous photographer and for many years was a highly sought portrait painter in New York City. Among his sitters were Susan B. Anthony and President McKinley. Following his wife’s death in 1913, Parsons relocated to Santa Fe becoming one of the area’s first artists. Parsons work evolved after his move and his style became ever more impressionistic as he painted the area around his new home. Parsons would become an influential artist in his adopted state. In 1918, he was selected as the first director of the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe.