EMERSON, W. Otto

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William Otto Emerson (1856-1940)
Painting by William Otto Emerson


EMERSON, William Otto (1856-1940), American ornithologist and artist, a founder of the Cooper Ornithological Club in 1893, and club president. William Otto Emerson was born near Chicago in Union, Illinois on March 2, 1856. He came with his family overland to California in 1870. After a few years in Placerville, he moved to San Francisco where he studied with Virgil Williams at the School of Design. Following the trend for serious art students of this period, he continued at Académie Julian in Paris under Bouguereau and Lefebvre. While there, he appears to have spent an extended period in Holland and brought back several paintings of his visit. During the latter part of his life Emerson lived in the San Francisco Bay area cities of Oakland and Hayward. He was a highly skilled painter of California landscapes, still lifes, Dutch and French scenes. As well as a painter, he was also a noted ornithologist; his collection of 6,000 species of western birds was donated to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Member: SFAA; American Artists Ass’n of Paris. Exhibited: California Midwinter Int'l Expo, 1894. Works held: California State Library.

Emerson died in Hayward, California on December 24, 1940.


Emerson collected on:

  • Farallon Islands (1881, 1883, 1884, 1885 [June 14-July2], 1887 [May 2-June 2])


CONDOR 1(2): W. EMERSON, PROMINENT ORNITHOLOGIST, 1899


SWARTH, HARRY THE COOPER ORNITHOLOGICAL CLUB 1893-1928, A HISTORY, 1929



Island Collections~
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson NMNH July 15, 1881 USNM- Uria aalge Eggs/Nests
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson DMNS June 23, 1883 DMNS-eggs/nests 7 Fratercula cirrhata Eggs/Nests
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson UF June 17, 1884 UF-58497 Fratercula cirrhata Eggs/Nests
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ June 17, 1885 WFVZ-132274 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ June 21, 1885 WFVZ-46355 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ June 21, 1885 WFVZ-46356 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ June 23, 1885 WFVZ-58498 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ June 23, 1885 WFVZ-76084 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ June 23, 1885 WFVZ-78498 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ May 3, 1887 WFVZ-76081 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ May 5, 1887 WFVZ-76106 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson DMNS May 11, 1887 DMNS-3499 Fratercula cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ May 15, 1887 WFVZ-76105 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ May 15, 1887 WFVZ-76107 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson NMNH May 16, 1887 USNM-B25781 Fratercula cirrhata Birds
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson NMNH May 16, 1887 USNM-B25782 Fratercula cirrhata Birds
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ May 17, 1887 WFVZ-76108 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ May 19, 1887 WFVZ-76110 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ May 19, 1887 WFVZ-76111 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson UF May 22, 1887 UF-94103 Fratercula cirrhata Eggs/Nests
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ May 22, 1887 WFVZ-76109 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ May 22, 1887 WFVZ-76112 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ May 22, 1887 WFVZ-76103 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson NMNH May 24, 1887 USNM-B23728 Fratercula cirrhata Birds
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson NMNH May 24, 1887 USNM-B24403 Fratercula cirrhata Birds
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson NMNH May 24, 1887 USNM-B24404 Fratercula cirrhata Birds
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson OMNH May 28, 1887 OMNH-618 Fratercula cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands W. Otto Emerson WFVZ May 28, 1887 WFVZ-76104 Fratercula [Lunda] cirrhata Eggs
Farallon Islands Wilfred H. Osgood MVZ June 18, 1894 MVZ-31414 Fratercula cirrhata Birds
Farallon Islands Wilfred H. Osgood CAS June 18, 1894 CAS-38776 Fratercula cirrhata Birds
Farallon Islands Wilfred H. Osgood WFVZ June 18, 1894 WFVZ-138647 Lunda [Fratercula] cirrhata Birds
Farallon Islands Wilfred H. Osgood CM June 19, 1894 CM-P22831 Fratercula cirrhata Birds