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Agnes Pelton
(1881-1961)



"Wild Farm, Madison Connecticut (Dorothy Tilton at 10 Years)"
Oil on masonite
30 x 23 inches






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Agnes Pelton was a painter born in Stuttgart, Germany on August 22, 1881 of American parents. After spending her childhood in France and Switzerland, Pelton graduated from the Pratt Institute in 1900 and studied with Arthur Dow, W.L. Lathrop, and Hamilton E. Field. Her early works are mostly portraits and representational subjects; however, she painted her first abstraction in 1925.

She moved to Cathedral City, California in 1931 and spent her last 30 years there. After moving to California, she produced a large body of traditional and surreal desert landscapes. She died in Cathedral City on March 13, 1961.


''My abstract pictures are just as real to me as nature, but they are not material, but mental images. They are a culmination of impressions which come to me at a quiet time just exactly as a line of verse comes to a poet's mind; the only difference being that I see it in form and color, and the poet sees it in sound and words. All of my abstractions have to do with light and the beneficence of light, for light is really all life, you know.'' --Agnes Pelton
(Margaret Stainer, "Agnes Pelton", 1989, Ohlone College Art Gallery, p.32)


Member: Transcendental Painting Group of Taos, NM (1938-41); National Academy of Women Painters & Sculptors; American Federation of Arts; American Artists Professional League; Riverside Art Association.

Solo exhibitions: Grace Nicholson Galleries, Pasadena, 1929; Argent Galleries, New York, 1931; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1932; Desert Inn Gallery, Palm Springs, 1936-40; San Francisco Museum of Art, 1943; Santa Barbara Museum, 1943; San Diego Museum, 1943; Crocker Gallery, Sacramento, 1944, 1947; Pomona College, 1947; Univ. of Redlands, 1951; Desert Art Center, Cathedral City, 1951, 1955.

Group Shows: Armory show, NY, 1913; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1932; California-Pacific International Expo, San Diego, 1935; Golden Gate International Exhibition, 1939.

Works Held: Oakland Museum; San Diego Museum; Santa Barbara Museum.

Source:
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.