Born in Michigan on Aug. 2, 1885. By 1946 Near had moved to southern California and was painting around Joshua Tree. She died in Los Angeles on July 23, 1965. Her work includes landscapes of the High Sierra. Exh: Laguna Beach AA, 1960; Festival of Arts (Laguna Beach), 1961; Costa Mesa High School, 1962. Source: Edan Hughes,
Louis XV, king of France, often called Jean-Baptiste Oudry to Versailles to paint the royal hounds--in the king's presence. "Monsieur Oudry had acquired such a habit of conversing with high-ranking persons and of working in their presence that he painted as calmly at the court as he would in his own studio," marveled a contemporary. Though his father was a painter and art dealer, Oudry's first serious training came from portrait painter Nicolas de Largillière. By about 1720, the young man was concentrating on animals, hunts, and landscapes. He became a member of the Académie de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1719 and a professor there in 1743. From 1726 Oudry had great success designing tapestries. In 1734 he was named director of the Beauvais tapestry manufactory, which he re-established by bringing in artists like François Boucher. Two years later, he became director of the Gobelins manufactory. Supervising all tapestry production gave Oudry considerable influence on French decorative arts. He also had a large studio and was literally overwhelmed by commissions. His clients included Czar Peter the Great of Russia and the Queen of Sweden. Oudry's work was marked by attention to detail combined with freedom of execution. A master of chiaroscuro, he maintained a lifelong interest in light and reflections.
A landscape painter and printmaker, he was born in San Francisco, California on July 29, 1884. Todhunter was a pupil of John Stanton and Arthur Mathews at the Mark Hopkins Institute, and Gottardo Piazzoni and Frank Van Sloun at the California School of Fine Arts, followed by study at the Art Students League in New York City. He began his career as an illustrator for Overland Monthly and later worked for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Call, and Washington (DC) Times. He worked in New York as a commercial artist until 1912, when he returned to San Francisco to become art director for the H. K. McCann Company, a job he was to keep until his retirement in 1949. Todhunter's work includes etchings, lithographs, and landscapes of Marin County and the San Francisco Bay area. He died in his native city on February 11, 1963. Member: Bohemian Club; SWA; AAPL; Marin Society of Artists; SFAA; Calif. Society of Etchers. Exh: Bohemian Club, 1922-63; SFAA from 1922; OGlE, 1939; Society for Sanity in Art, 1940s.
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Van Soelen trained in art at the St. Paul Institute from 1908 to 1911, and then attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, 1911-1915. The Pennsylvania Academy awarded Van Soelen a Cresson Traveling Scholarship which enabled him to tour and study in Europe in 1913 and 1914. Shortly after launching his art career back in the United States, Van Soelen headed west, seeking relief from tuberculosis. After spending time in Utah and Nevada, he settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1916. Working as a commercial illustrator, he also began to sell his fine art paintings. To acquaint himself with the people and landscapes of New Mexico, Van Soelen spent time in the small towns and ranches of the region. Early on, scenes of ranch life became his favorite subjects. Van Soelen married Virginia Carr in 1922 and the couple moved to Santa Fe before permanently settling in nearby Tesuque, New Mexico in 1926. Van Soelen's reputation grew rapidly throughout this time, but like other New Mexico's easel painters, most of his customers were in the East. In the 1930s he established a second studio in Cornwall, Connecticut to be closer to that market. Van Soelen painted in a detailed, realistic style with a slightly muted palette and strong draftsmanship. Though most famous for his ranch-life genre paintings, he also painted landscapes and formal portraits, and produced several popular lithographs on cowboy themes. In 1938 Van Soelen won a mural commission for the Post Office in Portales, New Mexico. He was a Fellow of the National Academy and exhibited in various juried exhibitions including the National Academy, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Chicago Art Institute. In 1960 he was named Honorary Fellow in Fine Arts by the School of American Research.
A painter of pop-art realism combined with a great respect for traditional methods and subject matter, Wayne Thiebaud is one of the most prominent of the Bay Area painters in California in the latter part of the 20th century. His reputation spread far beyond his own state. In his painting, he focuses on the commonplace in a way that suggests irony and objective distance from his subjects. He also makes a point of keeping an independent distance from the New York art scene. He was born in Mesa, Arizona, in 1920, and for one summer during his high school years he apprenticed at the Walt Disney Studio and then studied at an Los Angeles trade school the next summer. He earned a degree from Sacramento State College in 1941. From 1938 to 1949, he worked as a cartoonist and designer in California and New York and served as an artist in the United States Army. In 1950, at the age of thirty, he enrolled in Sacramento State where he earned a Master's Degree in 1952 and began teaching at Sacramento City College. In 1960, he became assistant professor at the University of California, Davis, where he remained through the 1970s and influenced numerous artist students. However, he did not have much following among Conceptualists because of his adherence to basically traditional disciplines, emphasis on hard work rather than creativity, and love of realism. On a leave of absence, he spent time in New York City where he became friends with Willem De Kooning and Franz Kline and was much influenced by these abstractionists as well as Pop Artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. During this time, he began a series of very small paintings based on images of food displayed in windows, and he focused on their basic shapes. Returning to California, he pursued this subject matter and style, isolating triangles, circles, squares, etc. He also co-founded the Artists Cooperative gallery, now Artists Contemporary Gallery, and other cooperatives including Pond Farm, having been exposed to the concept of cooperatives in New York. In 1960, he had his first one-man shows in San Francisco at the Museum of Art and New York at the Staempfli and Tanager galleries. These shows received little notice, but two years later, a 1962 New York Sidney Janis Gallery exhibition officially launching Pop Art, brought him national recognition although he disclaimed being anything other than a painter of illusionistic form. In 1963, he turned increasingly to figure painting, wooden and rigid with each detail sharply emphasized; in 1967 his work was shown at the Biennale Internationale, and in 1985, he was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
Harold Christopher Davies was a painter with whom art came first and commercialism last. Though he was a remarkably passionate and somewhat prolific artist, he resisted gallery representation until the age of eighty-four, just one year before his death. Davies began his formal art education at the age of fourteen, enrolling in the Corcoran Art Institute in Washington, D.C. Later he continued his studies at the San Francisco Institute of Art. An abstract expressionist, his style was directly influenced by Cezanne, Gorky and de Kooning. Being a man of intense dedication to his art, he kept extensive notebooks and sketchbooks in which he developed his own artistic and aesthetic philosophy, often through his candid critiques of other artist’s works. Painting, for Davies, was not a means of earning his living. Though he exhibited frequently at various local colleges and museums, he never sought public recognition of his talent. He believed fame compromised the integrity of an artist’s work. Davies earned his living as a businessman, eventually owning and operating his own chemical company. He lived a life of balancing his monetary obligations with the true love of his life: painting. After living in a variety of cities around the United States, Davies moved to Inverness, California in 1969 where he was free to devote all his time to his art. MEMBER: Oakland Art League San Francisco Art Association Huntsville (Ala.) Art Association EXHIBITED: San Francisco Art Association, 1921-1931 Oakland Art Gallery, 1931 Birmingham Museum, 1951 Southampton Museum, 1959 University of Long Island Museum, 1964 Parrish Art Museum, 1964, 1966, 1967 Hoover Gallery (San Francisco), 1975 Fresno Art Center, 1976 (Solo) Haggin Museum 1982 Huntsville Museum, 1982