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"Valley of Contentment"
Oil on canvas
30 x 36 inches
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Dana Bartlett was born in Ionia, Michigan on November 19, 1882. He studied with the Art Students League of New York under the instructions of William Merritt Chase and Charles Warren Eaton. After his studies, he worked at Lea Lash Art Studios and eventually moved to Boston to study design and advertising. He was employed at John Donnelly Sons. He moved to Portland, Oregon and worked for Foster & Kleiser as a commercial artist, but for Bartlett, commercial art was more a means to an end. He moved to San Francisco in 1915 and opened a studio believing that there was a greater opportunity in becoming a successful self-supporting painter there.
Finding the art atmosphere more stimulating, he moved to Los Angeles in 1915 and opened a studio in the Bradbury Building. Bartlett’s career soared in Los Angeles and at the age of thirty-five, he established an innovative artistic production which drew strong reviews. He married Lucy Seator in 1917. In 1921 he had the opportunity to show his work with a select group of fourteen artists at the first California Watercolor Society exhibition, and later become president of that Society.
In 1924, Bartlett furthered his art studies in Paris. He studied with old masters and was especially inspired and influenced by the works of Turner, Titian, and Monticelli. He was particularly interested in the use of Venetian tempura as an underpainting and was thoroughly inspired by the translucent effect and richness in color of stained glass. The influences of his trip to Europe were evident in his paintings. Returning to Los Angeles, he experimented with what he had learned in Europe and resulted in a technique that reviewer termed “jewel-like.” His decorative style exemplifies that of the Eucalyptus School.
He held a solo exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1927, and in 1928, Bartlett opened an art gallery in Los Angeles that exhibited his paintings and those of local artists. His gallery promoted artworks generally not handled by traditional galleries such as small oil paintings, etchings, and watercolors. Bartlett was also very active in the local community. He taught at the Chouinard School of Art, served as president of the California Art Club, was the organizer and president of the California Watercolor Society, and was a member of both the Laguna Beach Association and the Decorative Arts Society. Bartlett died in Los Angeles on July 3, 1957.
Member: California Art Club, (Pres. 1922); California Watercolor Society (founder and president); Laguna Beach Art Association; California Printmaking Society; Painters and Sculptors of Los Angeles; Decorative Art Society.
Awards: medals, Greek Theater, Los Angeles, 1952-55.
Works Held: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Southwest Museum; Laguna Beach Museum of Art; California State Library; Huntington Library, San Marino, California; Hollywood High School; George Washington High School, Los Angeles.
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.
Westphal, Ruth L. Plein Air Painters of California: The Southland. Print.