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 Fortune DeConte  (1847 - 1897)

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Lived/Active: California / France      Known for: portrait, figure, illustration

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in France in 1847 on the family's palatial yacht.  DeConte was a scion of an illustrious Bourbon and Orleans family.  After the Franco-Prussian War destroyed the family's wealth, he turned to art and studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. 

He lived in Brazil before working as a draftsman in the U.S. Navy.  After his military service, he lived in New York and Chicago where he was a member of the Society of Chicago Artists.  In the 1890s, DeConte taught art at the Froebel Institute in Los Angeles and was Dean of the art department at USC until 1894.  Having lost his postition at USC due to political faction within the university, he moved to San Francisco where he had a studio at 220 Post and taught at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute.

DeConte died in poverty in San Francisco on June 24, 1897.  His burial was under the auspices of the San Francisco Art Association with many prominent local artists serving as pallbearers, among them Jorgensen, Cadenasso, and J. H. E. Partington.

Exhibitions: San Francisco Art Association, 1896.

A collection of his work, previously at the University of Wyoming was transferred to the University of Southern California around 2005.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); SF Call, June 25, 27 & 30, 1897 (obits).
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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