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Donna Schuster

 (1883 - 1953)
Donna Norine Schuster was active/lived in California, Massachusetts, Wisconsin.  Donna Schuster is known for portrait, harbor-scape and still life painting.

Donna Schuster

Biography from the Archives of askART

Donna Schuster was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1883. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School studying with Edmund C. Tarbell and Frank W. Benson. She continued her education in art by accompanying William Merritt Chase on a painting tour of Belgium in the summer of 1912.

Schuster relocated to Southern California in 1913 and during the following year, she was studying again with William Merritt Chase, the two of them taking a class in Carmel, California. She ended up staying in San Francisco during the Fall of 1914 where she worked on a series of watercolor sketches of the construction of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. She earned a silver medal for watercolor there, which was shown at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art in 1914.

In the early 1920's she moved to Los Angeles where she taught at the Otis Art Institute. She built a studio home in Griffith Park, in the Los Angeles area where she remained for the rest of her life. Her wonderful Impressionistic style was most emphasized in her paintings of people, landscapes, still-lifes and cityscapes.

Most of her works displayed her recognizable brushwork but after studying with Stanton MacDonald-Wright later in her career, her work took on more Cubist and Abstract Expressionist with his influence.

In her early years her art was exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1914, 1917, 1920, 1927 and 1929. Later, in the 1930's, she had shows at the San Francisco Art Association, the New York Academy of Fine Art and the New York Water Color Society. She was a founding member of the California Watercolor Society and was involved with their exhibitions from 1921 until the mid 1940's.

In 1953, Schuster died, trapped inside her home as it was destroyed in a brush-fire.

Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Phil and Marian Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West

Biography from the Archives of askART
Born in Milwaukee, WI on Jan. 26, 1883, the daughter of a wealthy cigar maker, Donna Schuster studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and Boston Museum School under Tarbell and Benson.

In 1912 she joined Wm M. Chase on a painting tour of Belgium and, after her move to southern California the next year, she again studied with Chase in his summer class in Carmel. In 1923 she built a home in the Los Angeles hills overlooking Griffith Park at 2672 Glendower Avenue where she remained.

During the 1920s and 1930s Schuster taught at Otis Art Institute and was active as an organizer in several artists' clubs and a founder of Women Painters of the West. Her subject matter included harbor scenes, landscapes, figure studies, and Cezannesque water lilies in both oil and watercolor.  Her early works show the influence of Monet and Chase; however, having studied with Stanton MacDonald-Wright, she later experimented with various modern idioms including Cubism and Abstract Expressionism.

On Dec. 27, 1953 a brush fire destroyed her hillside home trapping her inside.

Minnesota Artists, 1913 (gold medal); Blanchard Gallery (LA), 1914; LACMA, 1914, 1917, 1920, 1927, 1929; PPIE, 1915 (silver medal); Panama-Calif. Int'l Expo (San Diego), 1915 (silver medal); NW Exhibition (St Paul, MN), 1915 (silver medal); Calif. Art Club, 1915-33; San Francisco Art Association, 1916; Woman's Club (Hollywood), 1920, 1927; Calif. WC Society, 1921-42; Laguna Beach AA, 1924-30; LA County Fair, 1924, 1927; Friday Morning Club (LA), 1925; Ainslie Gallery (LA), 1926; Calif. State Fair, 1926; Bernay Gallery (LA), 1926; Artland Club (LA), 1927; Pasadena Art Inst., 1927; Ebell Club (LA), 1930; Artist's Fiesta (LA), 1931; Palos Verdes Library, 1933; GGIE, 1939; Festival of Arts (Laguna Beach), 1949.

LACMA; Downey (CA) Museum; Oakland Museum; Fleischer Museum (Scottsdale); Irvine (CA) Museum; Orange County (CA) Museum.

Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1913-33; Who's Who in American Art 1936-56; Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); California Impressionism (Wm. Gerdts & Will South); Plein Air Painters (Ruth Westphal); Art of California, May 1991; Art in California (R. L. Bernier, 1916); Los Angeles Times, 1-3-1954 (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 William A. Karges Fine Art - Santa Monica
Donna Schuster was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1883. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School, and with William Merritt Chase in 1912 and 1914. Schuster moved to California in 1913, and earned a silver medal in the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition.

By 1925 she'd moved to Los Angeles, taking a job as an instructor at the Otis Art Institute. Schuster painted in a highly Impressionist style until she came under the influence of Stanton MacDonald-Wright, when she experimented with Cubism and Abstract Impressionism.

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About  Donna Schuster

Born:  1883 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Died:   1953 - Los Angeles, California
Known for:  portrait, harbor-scape and still life painting