Alphonso Broad arrived in California in 1887. He was born in Maine to a farm family. Once in Berkeley, he immediately took an active part in the town's civic life. He was elected to the board of trustees, and was the Berkeley Town Marshall and ex-officio Superintendent of Streets.
In his working life, he started out being a carpenter, but within five years had become well known as a building contractor and designer. Many of his buildings are still standing, and some are noted Berkeley landmarks. See link below.
He was a friend of William Keith, and accompanied him on many sketching trips to the Sierra. His paintings are reminiscent of the Barbizon school, but aren't as dark or moody as some of William Keith's work. Professionally, Broad was a building contractor, designer and business man. Five of the buildings designed by Alphonso Broad are now City of Berkeley Landmarks, including the Whittier, LeConte and Columbus Schools. When he would complete designing or building a house, he would often do a painting to hang on its walls. Among other places, his work resides in the Oakland Museum.
Following is an Alphonso Broad Painting of Mt. Shasta. In this painting, he makes no attempt to magnify the importance of the mountain. He frames the picture with high ponderosa and sugar pine trees, and has a small reflecting pond in the foreground. Like the Barbizon painters, he strived to convey the intimate emotion of a place in his paintings.
Source: http://www.siskiyous.edu/shasta/art/boo.htm , http://www.berkeleyheritage.com/berkeley_landmarks/bentley_house.html Learn more ... Article by Daniella Thomson, Editor, BAHA News (Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association) http://berkeleyheritage.com/eastbay_then-now/ah_broad.html