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 William Spencer Bagdatopoulos  (1888 - 1965)



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Lived/Active: California/Illinois / England/Greece      Known for: town-landscape, portrait, illustrator

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Ad Code: 3
William Spencer Bagdatopoulos
from Auction House Records.
Palace at Udaipur
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Zante, Greece, William Bagdatopoulos, spent his childhood in Rotterdam, Holland where he lived until his early teens with his British mother and Greek father. It is known that at age eleven he began studying at the Rotterdamse Kunstacademie (Academy of Arts). (Enrollment records were destroyed when the building was bombed during World War II.) His early painting was primarily with oil and pastel.

Bagdatopoulos was established in England by 1908 when he was age twenty and in 1909 was elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Artists. He was a member of the London Sketch Club.

In 1928, he moved to the United States where he married, was active in Chicago as a painter and member of the Chicago Society of Artists. In 1932, he moved to Santa Barbara, California, after traveling and exhibiting his paintings in Egypt, Palestine and India. By the time he moved to California, he was working also in watercolors and gouache and did portrait commissions, as well as many paintings of his world travels. He was active with the California Water Color Society, and a collection of his watercolors was exhibited in 1930 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

During part of his career, William Bagdatopoulos did etching, drawing and illustration including for the "Indian Times". As a commercial artist, he designed advertisements for a great variety of products such as tobacco, soap, tea, etc.

After his wife died, William Bagdatopoulos went back to England, living in Cornwall near his two sisters. He died in Cornwall in 1965.

Collections include the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Georgetown University Library ; the University of Chicago; Smart Museum of Art; The Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Gardena High School Art Collection, California.

The Smithsonian Archives has three boxes of materials from his three exhibits there in 1929, 1930 and 1938, and the British Museum, Prints & Drawings collection has 15 prints by this artist.

Sources include:
Patricia Potwin Ellis, descendant of the artist and researcher for a biography of the artist.
Erene Burger-Scholten, great nephew of the artist
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last, California Watercolors, 1850-1970

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