William Aiken Walker




Charleston, South Carolina


Cotton kingdom genre and landscape painting, trompe l’oeil


William Aiken

A genre painter, William Aiken Walker, is primarily known for his expressions of plantations, cotton fields, African Americans, and dock scenes. The son of a prominent cotton agent, he was a true Southerner, born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1838.

Walker completed his first painting at twelve and painted until his death in 1921. Although he studied in Dusseldorf sometime during the 1860s, he was primarily self-taught.

A social and friendly man, Walker often entertained friends with stories of his southern travels, which included Florida, Galveston, Texas, and the Carolinas. It is thought that he was somewhat inspired by European artistic subjects and styles, and also made at least one trip to that continent.

Sold At Lone Star Art Auction

William Aiken Walker – Cotton Field Worker
William Aiken Walker
(1838 – 1921)

Cotton Field Worker

oil on board
8 x 4 inches
Sold for: $3,600
William Aiken Walker – Picking Cotton Near the Robinson Brickworks
William Aiken Walker
(1838 – 1921)

Picking Cotton Near the Robinson Brickworks

, c. 1885
oil on board
6 x 12 inches
Sold for: $8,400
William Aiken Walker – The Cotton Plantation
William Aiken Walker
(1838 – 1921)

The Cotton Plantation

, 1881
oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Sold for: $330,000