(1891 - 1955)
Pruett Alexander Carter was active/lived in California, Missouri. Pruett Carter is known for women's magazine illustrator, western painting, educator.
Biography from the Archives of askART
Pruett Carter was an illustrator who worked predominantly for women's
magazines and was credited with being one of the few illustrators
who was able to keep a creative edge working within in that
market. He did paintings in watercolor and oil, and influenced by
his childhood and later a move to California, also did western subjects.
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Carter was a highly influential teacher of illustration. He was
dedicated to professional quality of work and attitude by illustrators
and asserted they should take themselves very seriously in what he
perceived to be a multi-faceted profession.
He described their role by saying: "The illustrator may be
likened to the director of a motion picture, or a spoken
stage-play. He must know his characters---their emotions and
desires---he must set the stage, and direct the arrangement and
action and conflict of drama. He must live the part of each
actor. He must do the scenery, design the costumes and handle the
lighting effects. His illustration must be deeper than a poster,
for he must make his characters live and breathe and react to each
other as the author intended." (Reed 213)
His magazine illustrations often depicted flattering portraits of women and highly detailed western themes. He worked for McCall's and Ladies Home Journal, and was the art director for Good Housekeeping
magazine. Over the years he also had many teaching positions,
experiences that provided a solid base for his career as an
was born in Lexington, Missouri in 1891,
and was raised on an Indian reservation in Wyoming where his mother was
a teacher and his father ran a trading post. So that he could
attend highschool, he and his parents moved to Los Angeles. He
became interested in art during high school, especially having met
cartoonist Jimmy Swinnerton, who encouraged the young man's talents.
Carter then attended
the Art Students League in Los Angeles for two years, and was hired for
newspaper illustration jobs by William Randolph Hearst on the New York American followed by the Atlanta Georgian.
Carter went on to study under Robert Henri in New York and worked in
that city as a commercial illustrator. He took the job with
Good Housekeeping magazine and after that became a freelance
illustrator and instructor. He was an
illustration professor at Grand Central School of Art in New York, and
the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, where he headed the
illustration department. He had moved back to California in 1930.
While living in the San Fernando Valley with his family, a domestic
dispute led to his murdering his wife and son and committing suicide in
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Walt Reed, The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000
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