23 1/2″ x 13″
33″ x 23″ in original frame
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Millard Sheets was an American painter best known for his watercolor landscape paintings. Characterized by a stylized depiction of his natural environment, his work often features surrealist imagery and iconography akin to his spiritual predecessor, Charles Ephraim Burchfield.
Born on June 24, 1907, in Pomona, CA, Sheets attended the Chouinard Art Institute where he studied with F. Tolles Chamberlin and Clarence Hinkle. He quickly rose to prominence among fine arts circles, garnering membership into the California Water Color Society as a teenager in 1927 while also exhibiting nationally throughout the 1930s. At twenty, even before he graduated from Chouinard, they hired him to teach watercolor painting while completing other aspects of his degree.
During World War II, he was an artist-correspondent for Life magazine and the United States Air Force in India and Burma. Many of his works from this period document the scenes of famine, war, and death that he witnessed. After the 1950s, his style changed again, this time featuring brighter colors and depicting subjects from his travels around the world.
A lifelong educator, Sheets was the Art Department Head at Scripps College for 25 years and Director of Otis Art Institute for 10 years. He was also director of the art exhibition at the Los Angeles County Fair for 25 years (1931 – 1956) and brought world-class art to Southern California. The Fine Arts building there is now named after him. During the Depression, he worked with Edward Bruce to hire artists for the W.P.A. Art Project. In later years he worked as an architectural designer, illustrator, muralist, printmaker, and juried art exhibitions.
Sheets continued to produce work until his death in Gualala, CA on March 31, 1989, with his paintings now included among the collections of prominent institutions as the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.
This work includes the book Millard Sheets: One-Man Renaissance by Lovoos and Penney, signed by the artist.