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Jorgensen moved to San Francisco in 1870 to teach painting. In 1899 he obtained permission to build a studio-home in Yosemite National Park joining the naturalist John Muir as a resident.
Married into the Ghirardelli chocolate fortune, Jorgensen felt no need to sell many of his Yosemite paintings, leaving 250 works to the National Park Service at his death.
Mrs. Augusta Severin; given to the John Herron Art Institute, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1902.