|John Decker |
Born in San Francisco, California on November 8, 1895, John Decker was abandoned by his parents in London at age 13. After studying at the Slade School in London and serving two years as a prisoner of war during WWI on the Isle of Man, he left for America. After settling in Hollywood in 1922, he further studied at Chouinard Art School and painted many portraits of people in the movie industry. In 1944 he was a partner of actor Errol Flynn in the Decker-Flynn Gallery. With his ability to replicate the painting styles of the old Master painters, throughout his life, he passed off his paintings as original Van Goghs, Rembrandts, Rouaults, among numerous other famous painters of the past. He made thousands of dollars in the process. The magnificent works fooled the most celebrated art critics and art collectors of his era. He died in Los Angeles on June 7, 1947 of cirrhosis of the liver.
Member: Los Angeles Art Association.
Exhibitions: Los Angeles County Museum of Art,1942-44; Virginia Museum, 1944 (prize); De Young Museum, 1946 (solo); Art Institute of Chicago.
Works Held: Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Dawdy, Doris. Artists of the American West ; Ferdinand Perret Files; Who's Who in American Art 1947; Death Record.Print.
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.