Julian Scott was born in Vermont and served as a Union Army drummer during the American Civil War, receiving the Medal of Honor for rescuing wounded soldiers while under enemy fire during the Battle of Lee’s Mills.
Scott began studying art at Pennsylvania’s Lamoille Academy, now known as Johnson State College, where the main gallery is named for him. He continued his studies at the National Academy of Design in New York City, visiting Europe to further his artistic career. Scott traveled to the American West as part of a census party, creating a body of work depicting the Native American tribes of New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Many works from this expedition are now in the collection of the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Art.