Stanley, John M.--Born near Buffalo, N.Y. Parents poor. In early boyhood engaged in wagon business in Buffalo. After that tried sign painting, moving to Detroit. . . . His taste ran to finer painting. A portrait painter named Brown, taking quite an interest in Stanley, advised him to quit the sign business. About 1838 went from Detroit to Galena, thence to Washington, where he chanced to make some arrangement that took him to the Far West among the Indians, where he remained 10 or 12 years. . . . He became interested in the life and habits of the red men, making many sketches and studies from which he afterwards painted many large pictures. Returning to Washington, he soon married and settled down as an artist. Being encouraged by numerous members of Congress, he painted many large pictures illustrating Indian life, in hopes that the Government would purchase them. In this he was disappointed, but through the influence of Congress he was allowed to place his pictures in the Smithsonian Institute. When that building was destroyed by fire all of Stanley's paintings were lost, and . . . it was a severe loss to him. He had moved to Detroit . . . and continued to live here until his death, . . . On the day before his death he was present at the unveiling of the Soldiers' Monument, in which he was much interested. . . . [Appendix; exhibited under heading: "Stanley's Collection."]
Catalogue. Detroit Art Association. First Exhibition, February, 1876.