Keith, William,1838–1911, American painter, b. Scotland. In 1851 he came to New York City, where he learned wood engraving and did illustrations for Harper's Weekly. He moved to San Francisco in 1860 and later turned to painting, studying in Düsseldorf in 1870 and in Munich in the 1880s. His Western landscapes evolved from early mountain epics to later intimate natural scenes. The Keith Memorial Gallery of the Oakland Art Museum is devoted entirely to his work. His By the Creek, Sonoma is in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
See Brother Cornelius, Keith, Old Master of California (2 vol., 1942, 1956).