Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait was born in Liverpool, before his family moved to Manchester. He trained in Manchester as a lithographer, and his first work was in commercial lithographic reproductions. It was to be his only artistic training, but it proved fruitful as the young artist moved to watercolor and oil. He much admired the Western images of America George Catlin, and decided, in 1850 to cross the pond and see untamed America for himself. His training in lithography came in handy when he quickly sold the first of many paintings to Currier & Ives for reproduction in 1852. His hand did not execute the lithographs, but his understanding of the merits and limitations of the medium made his works especially well-suited for reproduction. Buoyed by these commercial successes, he was able to undertake painting expeditions to the Adirondacks in 1852, and from these years forward his pictures of hunting and the West were in demand on canvas and in litho. Whereas his upward climb was stifled in England by the barriers to entrance of class and training, he was admitted as an Academician in 1858 at the National Academy of Design. He continued to work in the Adirondacks until 1882, when he sold his house and moved to spend much of his remaining days in Yonkers.