Emily Elinor Syminton
(1916 - 2002)
Emily Elinor Syminton was active/lived in New York, California / Italy. Emily Syminton is known for easel and mural painting, architectual scenes, figure and genre, teaching.
Emily Elinor Syminton
Biography from the Archives of askART
Emily Elinor Syminton was born in Los Angeles, California, on April 18, 1916, the daughter of Gilbert J. and Inez Louise (Hallett) Syminton. Her father was a co-founder of the Richfield Oil Company.
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Emily enrolled at the Chouinard Art Institute upon her high school graduation. She remained at Chouinard for three years before enrolling in the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze (Academy of Fine Arts of Florence), Italy. This was at a time when Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini was allowing foreigners into the country to attend the Accademia free of charge. The practice proved to be an annoyance to many of the teachers, especially because many of the foreign students, including Emily, did not speak Italian, making instruction difficult.
She returned to California and enrolled at Scripps College, Claremont. Studying under Millard Sheets, who proved to be an influence on her own work, she received her master of fine arts degree from Scripps. After graduation, she worked as a teacher in Pasadena at the private Westridge School for Girls, followed by a move to New York and a job teaching children’s art classes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After her time in New York, she was employed by several of the large casinos in Las Vegas, designing and painting murals for the Sahara, Dunes, and Riviera casinos. From Nevada, she returned to California where she resumed her teaching career, while continuing to paint and exhibit locally. She continued to paint, exhibit, and teach for the remainder of her life.
On January 20, 1967, she married fellow artist George H. Degroat. The couple lived in Pasadena, and during her marriage she added the Degroat surname to her signature and signed her work accordingly. In 1973, the couple divorced and she returned to solely using the “Syminton” surname.
A painter, muralist, and teacher, her oeuvre included Mexican and California architectural scenes, figurative, abstracts, and genre. She was a member of the Laguna Beach Art Association. She exhibited at the Oakland Art Gallery, 1939; All-California Exhibition, Painting, Sculpture, 1939; Laguna Beach Art Gallery, 1940; Los Angeles County Fair, 1940, 1941; Scripps College Annual, 1944; California Watercolor Society, 1944–1948; Artists of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art, 1948; Los Angeles Art Association, 1949; and more.
Emily Syminton passed away on June 9, 2002, in Pasadena, California.
Biography submitted by Maurine St. Gaudens
Source: Emerging from the Shadows: A Survey of Women Artists Working in California, 1860-1960, Maurine St. Gaudens, Editor, 2016.
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