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William Lees Judson

 (1842 - 1928)
William Lees Judson was active/lived in California.  William Judson is known for coastal, mission and landscape painting, teaching.

William Lees Judson

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for William Lees Judson
Born in Manchester, England on April 1, 1842, William Lees Judson immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1852.  He was educated in the public schools of Brooklyn and Ontario, Canada.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Civil War and afterwards spent several years as a farmer in Ontario.

He studied art in New York City with John B. Irving (1872-73) followed by three years in Paris at Académie Julian under Jules Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger.  Returning from Europe, Judson worked in New York City, Toronto and London, Canada until 1890 when he moved to Chicago where he was active as a portraitist.

After the Chicago World's Fair, he moved to southern California where he taught at the Los Angeles School of Art & Design.  Judson was an art professor at USC from 1896-1901 and in 1901 founded the USC College of Fine Arts.  He was Dean of that school until his death in Los Angeles on Oct. 26, 1928.

His oeuvre includes landscapes, coastal scenes, missions, and Indian subjects in oil and watercolor. He was also the originator of the Craftsman movement in the Arroyo Seco of Pasadena.

Exhibitions: London, 1886 (bronze medal); Thurber Gallery (Chicago), 1891; San Francisco Art Association, 1891-1916; California Midwinter Expo, 1894; Los Angeles Art Association, 1894; Chamber of Commerce (LA), 1894; California State Fair, 1899, 1900; Blanchard Gallery (LA), 1900; Ruskin Art Club (LA), 1902-04; USC, 1907, 1910; Alaska-Yukon Expo (Seattle), 1909; Steckel Gallery (LA), 1913, 1914; Friday Morning Club (LA), 1913; California Art Club, 1914-27; Panama-California Expo (San Diego), 1915 (bronze medal); Daniell Gallery (LA), 1916; Battey Gallery (Pasadena), 1917; Calif. Liberty Fair, 1918; LACMA, 1918 (solo); Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1920-25; Southwest Museum (LA), 1921 (prize); Kanst Gallery (LA), 1922; Artland Club (LA), 1927; Artists of So. Calif., 1930.

Bowers Museum (Santa Ana); Irvine (CA) Museum; Orange Co. (CA) Museum.

Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Artists of the American West (Samuels); Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); California Impressionism (Wm. Gerdts & Will South); Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers (Fielding, Mantle); Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs (Bénézit, E); American Art Annual 1929; Out West, May 1913; California Design 1910; Los Angeles Times, 10-27-1928 (obituary).

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.

Biography from the Archives of askART
Biography photo for William Lees Judson
Born in Manchester, England, William Lees Judson became one of California's leading painters of the early 20th century.

He was brought to New York at age ten and attended schools in Brooklyn and Ontario, Canada, and then studied with John R. Judson and John Irving and in Paris with Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre.

In 1861, he enlisted in the Illinois Militia and from 1865 to 1867, was a farmer in Ontario and sketched local Indians. He painted portraits and landscapes in New York City, Canada, and Chicago and then settled in Los Angeles, California.

From 1896 to 1901, he was professor of drawing and painting at the University of Southern California and was also in the same position from 1901 until 1920. He traveled widely for his landscape subjects including to surrounding states.

Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Santa Monica
William Lees Judson was born in Manchester, England, in 1842. He immigrated with his family, spending his childhood in Brooklyn and Canada. Following service in the Civil War, Judson studied briefly in New York, before leaving for the Academie Julian in Paris.

Upon his return he was active in Canada and Chicago, before moving to Southern California to serve as dean of the newly founded University of Southern California College of Fine Arts, a post he'd hold until his death in 1928. Judson was equally facile with oils and watercolors. His works include coastals, mission scenes, and landscapes.

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About  William Lees Judson

Born:  1842 - Manchester, England
Died:   1928 - Los Angeles, California
Known for:  coastal, mission and landscape painting, teaching

Essays referring to
William Lees Judson

The California Art Club
Painters of Grand Canyon