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 John Garth  (1889 - 1971)

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Lived/Active: California/Illinois      Known for: mural, portrait, narrative, figure

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John Garth
An example of work by John Garth
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Grew up in Topeka, Kansas and attended Washburn Univ.  Attended the Art Institute of Chicago and graduated from Yale Univ. in 1914.  Studied at the Arts Student League and in Europe from 1914-15 including being in Berlin working with Renoyitski and Conrad Fehrand.  He taught at the Roberts college in Constantinople for eight months, returned briefly to Topeka, and then was in Hawaii in 1916.  Served in World War I then settled in San Francisco, CA. Garth temporarily was art director of the Pacific Railways Advertising Company, and from 1920-35 conducted the Garth School of Art.  During the 1930s he served as mural director for the WPA Art Project on the San Francisco peninsula.  For 15 years he was an art critic for the San Francisco Argonaut and for many years was chairman for painting and sculpture for the San Francisco Art Commission. Garth was a vital force in the local art scene during his 52 years in San Francisco.

Member: National Society of Mural Painters; California Society of Mural
Painters; American Artists Professional League; Society for Sanity in Art; Fellow, Royal
Society of Art; Bay Area Art Assoc.; Society of Western Artists.

Exhibitions: Gumps Galleries, 1925. Awards: California Palace of the Legion of Honor; gold medal, American Artists Professional League, 1958.

Collections: murals at the Univ. of California, the California State Industrial Commission, General Electric Co., San Francisco Architectural Club, Sir Frances Drake Hotel and other San Francisco locations.
Source:
SOURCES:
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Topeka Journal (Aug. 3, 1915, Sept. 18, 1926); Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1936-1956, 1970; www.FamilySearch.org, accessed Dec.
20, 2007; AskART, www.askart.com, accessed Dec. 20, 2007; Park; Pamphlet file at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library in Washington, DC.
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
Muralist, portrait and figure painter, mosaicist, teacher. Born in Chicago, IL on Dec. 21, 1889.

Garth's father was a prominent physician who taught at the University of Chicago. The younger Garth taught himself human anatomy in the dissecting rooms there by making anatomical charts for his fathers medical lectures.

As a teenager he studied art in Rome, London, Paris, and Munich; after returning from Europe, he enrolled at the AIC. While attending Yale University, he spent summers in NYC studying at the NAD and the ASL.

Upon graduating from Yale, he won a traveling scholarship to Venice and Istanbul. From Turkey he went to Hawaii for two years and, intending to return to Chicago, left Hawaii in 1919. Arriving in San Francisco, he was struck by the city's natural beauty and remained a resident there for the rest of his life.

Garth temporarily was art director of the Pacific Railways Advertising Company, and from 1920-35 conducted the Garth School of Art. He staged his first one-man show at Gumps and maintained a studio in the Fairmont Hotel. During the 1930s he served as mural director for the WPA Art Project on the San Francisco peninsula.

For 15 years he was an art critic for the San Francisco Argonaut and for many years was chairman for painting and sculpture for the San Francisco Art Commission. Garth was a vital force in the local art scene during his 52 years in San Francisco. He died at his home at 471 Castenada Avenue on June 1, 1971.

Member: Press Club (SF); Nati Society of Mural Painters; Fellow, Royal Society of Art (London); Calif. Society of Mural Painters; Bay Region AA; AAPL; Society for Sanity in Art; SWA (founder & first pres.).

Exh: GGIE, 1939; Society for Sanity in Art, 1940s; AAPL, 1958 (gold medal). In: Franklin Savings & Loan Ass'n (SF); Lodi (CA) Civic Auditorium; Columbus Savings & Loan Assn (SF); Architectural Club (SF); Fairmont and Sir Francis Drake Hotels (SF); UC Berkeley; Carmel Valley Center; CHS; Marina Safeway Supermarket (SF).

Invw; CSL; WWAA 1936-70; Argonaut, 5-23-1947; WWPC 1951; Pacific Factory, July 1951; SF Chronicle. 62-1971 (obit).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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