Maurice Del Mue
(1875 - 1955)
Maurice Auguste Del Mue was active/lived in California / France. Maurice Del Mue is known for landscape, still life, portrait painting.
Maurice del Mue was born in Paris to a French mother, Ava, and a Swiss father, Santino del Mue. Santino came to California to work in the silver mines, and Maurice and his mother followed when the future artist was five years old.
He grew up in San Francisco, enrolling as a student at the California School of Design as a teenager. He then spent a year in Paris, rooming with his friend, Gottardo Piazzoni, who would go on to marry his sister. Back in San Francisco, del Mue was hired as an illustrator for the San Francisco Call, while pursuing a career as an easel painter in his spare time. He became an active member of the vigorous art world of early twentieth-century San Francisco, becoming a founding member of the California Society of Artists and a studio-mate of Maynard Dixon.
He was a regular exhibitor in Art Association and Bohemian Club shows. In 1906, Laura Bride Powers, art critic for the Call, announced that "del Mue has arrived…I commend to you his exquisite presentations of the phases of nature that whisper to him." (March 18, 1906). In 1907, Elise Graupner noted that "(del Mue) sees no garish colorings in nature—just the soft, subdued tones that please the eye and to which one returns again and again." (Call, November 3, 1907). Lake Tahoe appears as a subject for his landscapes for the first time in 1913: "Del Mue handles a Tahoe scene with great vigor and depth of color," the San Francisco Chronicle observed, "striking a new note in his work." (October 26, 1913). Del Mue had a particular fondness for a special shade of blue that he humorously referred to as "del Mue blue."
Painter, illustrator, muralist.
Born in Paris, France on November 24, 1875.
About 1880 Del Mué moved with his family to San Francisco where he
later studied art at the Mark Hopkins Institute under Mathews and
Joullin. In the late 1890s he returned to Paris for further study
under Gérôme at Ecole des Beaux Arts. Upon returning to San
Francisco, he established a studio and began receiving favorable
reviews for his paintings by the local press. In 1902 he joined
fellow artists Piazzoni, Putnam, C. P. Neilson, W. H. Bull, M. Sandona,
and Blendon Campbell in forming the California Society of Artists as a
protest to the conservative attitudes of the San Francisco Art
During the 1920s Del Mué was a staff artist for the San Francisco Chronicle
and later worked for Foster & Kleiser (billboards). His
commercial art includes many prominent logos which are still in use
(Hills Brothers Coffee, Schillings Coffee, Southern Pacific Railroad,
As early as 1933 he maintained an art studio in the small town of Forest Knolls in Marin County. Painting in a style
that evolved from the Post-Impressionists, Del Mué was motivated by
color and often boasted that he had his own blue. Best known for
his landscapes, many of the High Sierra, he also painted still lives
Del Mué died on January 24, 1955 at Ross General Hospital in Kentfield.
Member: SFAA; Bohemian Club; Marin Society of Artists.
Academy (London); Hotel Oakland; Mark Hopkins Institute, 1906; SFAA and
Bohemian Club annuals; Del Monte Art Gallery, 1907-12; PPIE, 1915
(silver medal); Calif. State Fair, 1934; SFMA, 1935; GGIE, 1939.
Murals: College of Marin; Tamalpais High School; Lagunitas School;
Officers Lounge, Hamilton Air Force Base; Union Jr. College
In: Oakland Museum; De Young Museum.
Sources include: Invw; AAA 1919-33;
FId; Ber; Sam; WWAA 1936-41; SF Chronicle, 1-25-1955 (obit). Additional information courtesy of Claudia Ruggles
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