|Ben Messick |
|click image to enlarge|
"Public Viewing of Whistler's Mother"
12 1/2 x 15 inches
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Benjamin Newton Messick was born to William Washington Messick and Sarah A. Bristowon on January 9, 1891 on a farm near Strafford, Missouri. His art talent was apparent from the time he was a child and later recognized by his commanding officer in World War I. Messick moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an artist, after serving in France during World War I. With humor and compassion, he recorded fragments of life as it was being lived in urban Southern California - robust and earthy subjects amidst, in is own words, "the streets, parks, Main Street cafes, polo fields, and beaches."
During the Depression, he worked on a number of WPA murals in the Los Angeles area, in addition to three murals for the United States Treasury Department in Washington DC. During the 1940s, he was a sketch artist for Disney Studios and Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, in addition to teaching at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1943 to 1951. From 1948 to 1953, he also taught classes at the San Diego School of Arts and Crafts. In 1981, Messick died in his home in Apple Valley, California. Messick's vernacular observations intend to bring the color and the spirit of his times to life.
Exhibited: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Laguna Art Museum; Springfield Museum of Art in Missouri.
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"