Charles Craig, born in Ohio, is an important genre painter, landscape artist and illustrator. As a self-taught artist, Craig first explored the West traveling up the Missouri River in 1865. While traveling, he spent four years with various tribes of Native Americans and traveled as far as Fort Benton in Montana. In 1881 Craig became the first major Western artist to paint in Taos, New Mexico. From then on he made many trips to sketch in Taos and Santa Fe. His paintings of this period are noted for their accuracy of ethnological detail, a result of his many trips to the Ute reservation in southwestern Colorado, one of which in 1893 was accompanied by Frank Sauerwein. Many of Craig's paintings were lost due to a fire in 1895.