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 Donald (Edwin Dawes) Teague  (1897 - 1991)



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Lived/Active: California      Known for: western genre illustrator, landscape and harbor paintings

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Edward Dawes is primarily known as Donald (Edwin Dawes) Teague

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Brooklyn, New York on Nov. 27, 1897, Donald Teague studied at the Art Students League in NYC under George Bridgman, Dean Cornwell, and Frank DuMond and, after serving in WWI, with Norman Wilkinson in England.

He moved to California in 1938 and lived in Encino until 1949 when he settled in Carmel.  Teague was elected to the National Academy in 1948 and soon gained national renown.

For 35 years he was one of the nation's top magazine illustrators; his work appeared in Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, McCall's, Woman's Home Companion and others under the pseudonym Edwin Dawes (not to be confused with the landscape painter Edwin Dawes (1875-1945).

In 1958, he gave up commercial work to concentrate on fine art.  His paintings and illustrations are primarily of the Old West.

Teague was active as an artist until his demise in Carmel on Dec. 13, 1991.

Carmel Art Association; American Watercolor Society; Salmagundi Club; Bohemian Club; National Academy of Western Art; Cowboy Artists of America.

National Academy of Design, 1948 (gold medal); American Water Color Society, 1953 (grand prize), 1964 (gold medal); Franklin Mint, 1973-75 (gold medals).

Cowboy Hall of Fame (Oklahoma City); Frye Museum (Seattle); Oakland Museum; U.S. Air Force Collection; Monterey Peninsula Museum; Pepperdine College (Malibu); Mills College (Oakland).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Interview with the artist or his/her family; American Art Annual 1933; Who's Who in America; Who's Who in American Art 1936-70; Who's Who in California 1942; Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs (Bénézit, E); American Western Art (Harmsen); Artists of the American West (Samuels); Art of California , Sept 1992.
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.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A leading illustrator of western subjects for the Saturday Evening Post, Donald Teague  became a founding member of the National Academy of Western Art in 1973.  His pseudonymn was "Edwin Dawes", a name he used when he did illustrations for Colliers magazine because that publication and the Post were great rivals, and he did not want to appear to be serving both of them.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he studied with George Bridgman and Frank DuMond at the Art Students League in New York and with Norman Wilkinson in London.  Then Teague returned to the Art Students League where Dean Cornwell encouraged him to go into illustration. 

In 1938, Teague made a risky move away from New York, the source of his illustration assignments, to California, but the publishers sought him out there.  He first lived in Encino, and then from 1949 settled in Carmel. 

In 1948, he was elected a National Academician and in 1958, became a full-time fine artist. In 1953 and 1954, he earned major awards from the American Watercolor Society, the first to win two awards in succession.

His work is in numerous collections including the Frye Museum in Seattle; Mills College in Oakland and the Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Walt Reed, The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000, p. 197

Biography from Thomas Nygard Gallery:
One of the premier watercolorists of this century, Donald Teague was born in Brooklyn, New York.  From 1916 to 1917, he studied under Bridgman and DuMond at the famed Art Students League in New York.  After serving in the Navy during WWI, he became the pupil of Norman Wilkinson in London.  Upon his return to New York he continued his studies at the Art Students League under the tutelage of Dean Cornwell, who helped Teague begin his long art career as an illustrator in 1921. Because he was the primary illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post, he signed Collier's illustrations with another name, Edwin Dawes.

In the 1920's, Teague spent several summers on a Colorado ranch.  When he moved to California in 1938, he specialized as a Western illustrator until Collier's ceased publication in 1958.  After finishing his career as an illustrator, Teague devoted his entire time to painting.

During his lifetime he won international recognition and numerous awards for his paintings, including five First Prizes from the National Academy of Western Art, both the Gold and Silver Medal Honors from the American Watercolor Society, the S.F.B. Morse Gold Medal from the National Academy of Western Art, and two Gold Medals from the Cowboy Artists of America.

His work has been exhibited in major museum collections throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Royal Watercolour Society, the Tokyo Museum, the Peking National Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Watercolor in Mexico City, Chicago's Art Institute, the Sydney Museum in Australia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

The uniqueness of Donald Teague's work lies in his own personality and in his ability to transmit it into a painting, to tell in watercolor what he saw and felt when he discovered the subject of the painting.  His watercolors are a kind of realism he calls synthesis, for rarely, if you returned to the spot and the moment where a Teague painting began, could you find the same image as that in the painting.

Biography from Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers VI:
Born: Brooklyn, New York 1897

Western illustrator, painter of the Old West, particularly in watercolor.

Teague studied at the Art Students League 1916-17, the pupil of Bridgman and DuMond.  After service in the Navy during WWI he was the pupil of Norman Wilkinson in London.  When he returned to New York City he again studied at the Art Students League 1919-1920, the pupil of Dean Cornwell who helped Teague began as an illustrator in 1921.  Because he was a primary illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post, he signed Collier's illustrations with another name, Edwin Dawes.

In the 1920s, Teague spent several summers on a Colorado ranch.  When he moved to California in 1938, he specialized as a Western illustrator until Collier's ceased publication in 1958.  "Since then, I have devoted my entire time to painting."

His technique is to begin with thumbnail sketches in black and white, then in color to resolve composition.  Models and props are available from the nearby movie studios, so they are posed for sketching and photography. Photostats are projected and traced on watercolor paper, ready to paint. Teague has also painted Masterpieces of the Old West as calendar art.  His work has been important to younger Western painters like Jack Swanson and Bob Meyers.

Resource: SAMUELS' Encyclopedia of ARTISTS of THE AMERICAN WEST,
Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1985, Castle Publishing

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Carmel:
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1897, Donald Teague studied at the Art Students League under Bridgman, Cornwell, and DuMond, and remained in New York until moving to California in 1939, the year after he was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Design.  Though his reputation was originally built on his paintings featuring themes of the American Old West, Teague was also a tireless traveler who would never be found far from his sketchpad.  Perhaps Teague's greatest legacy are the paintings inspired by his travels abroad.

Throughout his life, Teague painted in sites such as Hong Kong, China, Bali, the Bahamas, and virtually all the great cities of Western Europe.

To Teague, painting was a form of narrative.  In his own words, Teague worked "to discover something worth seeing, to call the attention of those who looked at his paintings to sights missed or unrealized." T o this end, one finds in Teague's works a master's subtlety, a rare artist who sought not to overpower his audience, but rather to invite his viewers in to his compositions, to a calmer and less hurried place.

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