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 Tulita (Gertrude) Bennett Davis Westfall  (1889 - 1962)



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Lived/Active: California      Known for: mural painting, drawings, etching

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Tulita Davis is primarily known as Tulita (Gertrude) Bennett Davis Westfall

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Monterey, California on Sept. 15, 1889 in the ancestral Boronda Adobe (the oldest adobe in Monterey, built in 1817).  After graduating from Monterey High School, Tulita, as she was called, attended the University of California Berkeley, where she majored in fine arts under Pedro Lemos.  She later studied at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco under Frank Van Sloun, the Rudolph Schaeffer School, as well as the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles under E. Vysekal and the Art Students League of New York City.

Primarily a watercolorist, during the 1930s she was commissioned by the WPA to make historical records in watercolor of early California jewelry, clothes, and artifacts.  At age 20 she married Lester Davis, a man many years her senior; while in art school in San Francisco she met Samuel Westfall whom she wed in 1916 after divorcing Davis. The couple led a vagabond life camping in Yosemite and Mexico as well as living sporadically in Oakland, Hayward, and San Francisco.  In the mid-1930s the Westfalls returned to Monterey where she remained for the rest of her life.  She died at the home of her daughter in Pacific Grove on December 9, 1962.

Calif. Artists, Golden Gate Park Museum, 1915-16; SFAA, 1918, 1931; Calif. State Fair, 1926 (prize); Oakland Art Gallery, 1928-34; Santa Cruz Art League, 1931; Calif. Statewide (Santa Cruz), 1931, 1939; GGIE, 1939; Carmel AA.

Monterey Public Library; Oak Grove Grammar School (Monterey).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Interview with the artist or his/her family; American Art Annual 1919; Who's Who in American Art 1936-41; Who's Who in California 1942; Monterey Herald, 12-10-1962 (obituary).
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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