Originally training for a career in architecture, painter George Brainerd Burr would change direction and take up a career in art. He was born in Middletown, Connecticut and headed to Berlin in the mid 1890s to train as an architect. Instead he enrolled in the Munich Academy of Fine Art and from there headed to Paris where he was a student at the Colarossi Academy. For the next fourteen years he remained in Europe, travelling frequently to Holland for the summer months and relocating each winter to Capri off the coast of Italy.
His works were done primarily in oil and watercolor, and throughout his career he would demonstrate a strong allegiance to the methods, theories and subject matter of the Impressionists.
He returned to the United States in 1910, where he settled in the thriving art colony at Old Lyme, Connecticut. Unlike his colleagues, Burr's exposure to years of modernism and Post-Impressionism made him one of the most experimental artists of the colony. His home became a frequent gathering place of likeminded artists.
Burr exhibited widely during his lifetime and was a member of many major associations and clubs, including the Society of Independent Artists and the Salmagundi Club. Additionally, he exhibited with the other Old Lyme colony artists in 1910 and his works are in the Vanderpoel American Art Collection.