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 Jean Charlot  (1898 - 1979)

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Lived/Active: Hawaii/California / Mexico      Known for: figure-child, mural, illustrator, educator

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Jean Charlot was born in France in the 1880's.  He had Aztec ancestors and moved with his mother to Mexico after studying at the Ecole de Beaux arts in Paris and serving as an artillery officer at the end of WWI.  He quickly established himself in the art community of Mexico City in the very early 1920's and befriended Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros and Jose Orozco, main figures in the Mexican Mural movement of the early twenties that quickly spread to the USA.

Charlot and the others visited the USA and taught - mostly in New York City - the true fresco technique, which Charlot taught to the other Mexican muralists.  In 1947, Jean Charlot moved his family to Colorado Springs, Colorado to take over as head of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Art School from which Boardman Robinson had just retired.  He also taught at the private school for boys in Colorado Springs, The Fountain Valley School.

Charlot resigned over a dispute involving tenure and other differences of opinion with the administration of the Art Center.  He moved to Hawaii to teach at the University and remained there for about thirty years until his death in 1979.  He won many awards for his work.

He has written many scholarly essays and books and lectured and taught at a host of schools.  He is the person who singlehandedly resurrected the work of Jose Guadalupe Posada, the great Mexican engraver of popular art - especially the "Day of the Dead" skeleton figures that are so well known today.

Source:
Submitted by Jeff Brown, October 2002


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Paris, France on Feb. 7, 1898. Charlot was artistically inclined at age six. As a young man he studied art in his native city at Lycee Condorcet and was involved with the liturgical arts. In 1922 he moved to Mexico where he began producing color lithographs and woodcuts of the Mexicans and their activities. In 1930 he moved to Los Angeles where he became a long-time employee and collaborator of Lynton Kistler in the production of color lithography. During the 1930s and 1940s he taught at the ASL of NYC. After settling in Hawaii in 1949, Charlot taught for 20 years at the University of Hawaii. He died in Honolulu in March 1979. Exh: Stendahl Gallery (LA), 1933, 1938; LA Co. Fair, 1949; Yale University, 1963; . In: San Diego Museum; University of Hawaii; Honolulu Academy of FA; AIC; Orange Co. (CA) Museum; SFMA; Notre Dame University; MM; churches in Honolulu and Kohala.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Who's Who in American Art 1936-66.
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.

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