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 William Hamiston Darr  (1920 - 2006)

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Lived/Active: Iowa/California/Montana / Italy/Mexico      Known for: painting, teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Artist and educator William Humiston Darr died of cancer on July 30, 2006 at his home in Missoula, Montana.  Darr began his career at Drake University as an art professor in 1968 and became head of the department shortly thereafter.  He served Drake for six years before departing to establish the renowned Studio Arts Center International, in Florence, Italy, in 1974.

Darr was born in Tuxedo, New York in 1920 and moved to California in 1930 when his father became chaplain at Scripps College in Claremont. There he began to take interest in the arts and by his early teens, Darr's artistic talent won him the opportunity to study with Millard Sheets in southern California. He later was invited to work with Diego Rivera in Mexico.

He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University in 1962 before traveling to Japan on a Fulbright Scholarship to film printmakers in action. Upon his return, Darr became the head of the art department at Earlham College before stepping into the role at Drake.

"My viewpoint was that Bill was always looking toward the future and advocating change. His personality really left an impression on the entire art department while he was at Drake" recalled John Hicks, professor emeritus of art.

Darr is survived by his second wife, Lillian, and his four children.  Lillian Darr described him as an activist, conservationist, and progressive thinker with love for all those around him.

Darr was an active member of the Fairfield, Iowa, community, where he helped to build an ecologically sound home that is now owned by the Maharishi University of Management. Paintings by Darr can be viewed in collections and museums across the world.

On Campus, The Drake University Faculty and Staff Newsletter, September 11, 2006;

Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
Watercolor Society, 1937-42; Scripps College (Claremont), 1939; San Diego Fine Arts Gallery, 1939; Padua Hills Theater, 1939; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1940

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