A painter and Depression-era muralist, Raymond Boynton is best known today for his many murals and canvases, done in oil and pastel, of the California Mother Lode country, mining activity, and historical landmarks.
He was born on a farm near Whitten, Iowa on January 14, 1883. He went to Chicago in 1903, and worked at odd jobs while studying art at the Academy of Fine Arts under Henderson, Norton, and Reynolds. The following year he had his first exhibition with the Chicago Society of Artists.
He spent seven years in Spokane, Washington before settling in San Francisco in 1915. His arrival coincided with the opening of the Panama Pacific Exposition where his works were being exhibited. During WWI, he served in the armed forces as a recruiting officer on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.
Following the war, he began teaching in 1919 at the California School of Fine Arts and in 1923 at the University of California, Berkeley. He fulfilled mural commissions locally, and in 1934 he was one of 26 artists selected by the federal government to paint murals in Coit Tower as part of the Federal Art Project..
He also painted 12 lunettes in the Modesto Post Office for the Federal Public Works of Art Project. After retiring from the University of California in 1948, he moved to New Mexico.
Boynton died on Sept. 26, 1951 in the Veterans Hospital in Albuquerque.
Bohemian Club; California Society of Mural Painters; National Society of Mural Painters; San Francisco Art Association; Panama-Pacifaic Exposition, 1915; San Francisco Art Association from 1916; Bohemian Club, 1922; Beaux Arts Gallery of San Francisco, 1920s; Gumps (SF), 1934 (solo); San Francisco Museum of Art 1935; (prize); GGlE, 1939.
Orange Co. (CA) Museum; De Young Museum; Oakland Musem; Museum of NM; CPLH. Murals: Music Auditorium, Mills College (Oakland); Bohemian Club; Mark Hopkins Hotel; UC Berkeley Faculty Club; Dollar Steamships.
Source: Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940