|Otis Oldfield |
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Oil on canvas
30 1/4 x 24 1/4 inches
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Otis Oldfield, a painter and lithographer, was born in Sacramento, California on July 3, 1890. Oldfield left high school at age 16 to work in a local print shop. In 1909, he arrived in San Francisco and enrolled at the Best Art School. After working for two years as a bellhop at the Argonaut Hotel and as a hat check boy at the Cliff House, he had saved enough money for further studies in Paris. In 1911, he sailed for France and enrolled at Academie Julian. Caught up in the activities of wartime Paris, he worked as an apprentice for a book binder. In 1924, Oldfield returned to Sacramento and added a studio to the house in which he was born. Feeling out of touch with the art mainstream, he stayed in Sacramento briefly. By early 1925 he had rented a studio in San Francisco’s old Montgomery Block and became an instructor at the California School of Fine Arts. His first solo show was held in that year at the local Beaux Arts Club where his controversial paintings were considered very bold and modern by local art critics.
In 1934, he was one of 26 artists selected by the federal government to paint murals in the newly erected Coit Tower. The subject of his fresco is Shipping Activities Inside the Golden Gate. During World War II, he worked as a draftsman at Fort Mason Marine Repair, in addition to teaching at the California College of Arts and Crafts until 1952. After that period, Oldfield continued painting and teaching at his home until his death in San Francisco at French Hospital on May 18, 1969.
Member: San Francisco Art Association.
Solo Exhibitions: Galerie Beaux Arts, San Francisco, 1925-36; Montross Gallery, NewYork, 1929-33; Art Center San Francisco, 1931; San Francisco Museum of Art, 1936; Labaudt Gallery, San Francisco, 1947, 1954, 1971; San Francisco Art Association, 1958; Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, 1976.
Group Shows: Salon d’Automne and Salon des Independents, Paris, 1912-24; San Francisco Art Association, 1925-46; Oakland Art Gallery, 1932; Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1933; California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1935; San Francisco Museum of Art, 1935, 1945; Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939; de Young Museum, 1943.
Works Held: Library of Congress; San Francisco Museum of Art; California Palace of the Legion of Honor; Oakland Museum; de Young Museum; Brooklyn Museum; San Francisco City Club.
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.