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 Valentine Morse  (1893 - 1971)

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Lived/Active: California/Arizona/Oregon      Known for: Desert landscape, still life and portrait painting

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
Oil on board, 11" x 14"
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information comes from Alan Smelko, step grandson of the artist with additional information from Janice (Morse) Summers granddaughter of the artist:

Valentine was initially married to Harry Asa Morse in Oregon. They had three children, Joseph, Julia, and Lois. Later she married my grandfather, George Van Fleet.  I believe the erroneous death date of 1940, often  reported in art references, is due to Valentine's marriage to my grandfather (Valentine Morse ceased to exist in census records around 1940).   

I recall visiting Valentine and my grandfather frequently throughout my youth (1950's - late 1960's) with my mother and siblings.  My grandfather and Valentine lived for a time in Alpine, California (San Diego County), then on Wisconsin Street in El Cajon, California (San Diego County).  After my Grandfather (George Van Fleet) died, Valentine relocated to the artist village of San Diego (Balboa).  Valentine was indeed struck by a car while crossing the street near her Balboa residence, however, this occurred in the mid or late 1960's and Valentine survived the accident with a broken pelvis.  Although Valentine seemed to recover from the accident, in retrospect, this accident was the beginning of the end for Valentine.  Valentine was becoming increasingly frail and relocated to Sierra Vista, Arizona (I am told Valentine had friends in Sierra Vista).  

Valentine died in 1971 and is buried in Tombstone, Arizona, which is located very near to Sierra Vista.  

Over the past year I have visited various graveyards in Tombstone and Sierra Vista trying to locate Valentine.  I am incredibly pleased to say that I finally found Valentine.  Yes, Valentine's final resting place is in Tombstone, Arizona.  Valentine's grave is located in an unmaintained cemetery in a harsh Southwest desert environment.  Based on her many paintings of the Southwest and the fact that this is the area that Valentine chose to spend her final days, I suspect Valentine is indeed resting in peace.

**Valentine died on June 29th, 1971, she was 78 years old. She was living with Lois Morse in Tombstone Arizona at the time of her death. She is buried in the Tombstone cemetary.

Biography from ArtSanDiego:
Valentine Morse lived and painted in the San Diego, California area. Due to ill health at a younger age she was sent to New Mexico in 1914 to recuperate. It was there she began painting. She is primarily a self taught artist.

By the 1930's she had settled in San Diego, California and had a studio in Balboa Park's Spanish Village, the home of many important early San Diego artist's, including Alfred Mitchell.

Morse specialized in oil desert landscapes, images of San Diego's back country, still lives, and portraits.

Credit: Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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