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 Watson Cross, Jr.  (1918 - 1997)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: modernist-leaning landscape, abstraction, video

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Watson Cross studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, and was influenced by teachers Phil Paradise, Henry McFee, Rico Lebrun and James Patrick. He has done illustrations for Air Force publications and from 1944 to 1971, was Professor of Drawing and Painting at the Chouinard Art Institute. He also taught at the Otis Art Institute and Art Center School. From 1975 to 1985, he was Associate Professor at California State University at Northridge. He is a Life Member of the National Watercolor Society and has been a resident of Covina, California.

During the 1930s and 1940s, he did California style watercolors, and in the late 1950s, his watercolors became much more abstract and often had figures. In 1953, he was President of the California Water Color Society.

Gordon McClelland and Jay Last, "California Watercolors"
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
William Watson Cross was born in Long Beach, CA on Oct. 10, 1918.  Cross spent his childhood in Long Beach and attended the Chouinard Art School.  He also studied privately with Henry Lee McFee.  His early works include representational scenes of run-down urban buildings as well as rural landscapes done while on trips in the Southwest.  His work later became more abstract.  Cross was an influential teacher in Los Angeles at the Art Center School, Chouinard and Otis Art Institutes.  He died at his home in West Covina, CA on March 22, 1997. 

Exh:  Calif. WC Society, 1941-61; LACMA, 1945, 1952; Laguna Beach AA, 1945; SFAA, 1946; Chouinard Gallery (LA), 1946; Palos Verdes AA, 1953; Pasadena Art Inst., 1956, 1957, 1960; Chaffee College, 1960.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
WWAA 1947-70; Interview with artist or his/her family
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
Watson Cross, Jr. (1918- )...

Born: Long Beach, CA
Studied: Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles)
Member: California Water Color Society.

Watson Cross, Jr. grew up in Long Beach. He studied with James Patrick, Phil Paradise, Henry Lee McFee and Rico Lebrun in Los Angeles during the 1930s and early 1940s. During this period, he began exhibiting California Style watercolors, which usually depict cityscape subjects. Works from the World War 11 era often include war related activities in Southern California. In the late 1950s and 1960s, his watercolors became abstract and often included figures.

Cross exhibited in many annual museum exhibitions and was president of the California Water Color Society in 1953. He has been an influential art instructor at a number of schools including Chouinard Art Institute, Otis Art Institute and Art Center School.

Biography provided courtesy of "California Watercolors 1850-1970" By Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last. Interview with Watson Cross, Jr., 1983

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