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Will Sparks was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1862 where he attended the local Medical College. Rather than practice medicine, Sparks chose a career in art and enrolled in the St. Louis School of Fine Arts before leaving for the Academie Julian in Paris where he found use for his earlier training, sketching the human anatomy for Louis Pasteur. Returning to the states, Sparks painted his was across the country settling in San Francisco in 1888. Sparks would remain a resident of California until his death in 1937. He is best remembered for his paintings of the early Missions and moonlit nocturnes of early-California’s rustic adobes.