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 Clarence Arthur Ellsworth  (1885 - 1961)

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Lived/Active: California/Nebraska      Known for: frontier genre, horse, portrait

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Ad Code: 3
Clarence Arthur Ellsworth
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Clarence Arthur Ellsworth was born in Holdrege, Nebraska in 1885 and died in Los Angeles, California in 1961. He was a premature frontier baby, born in the back room of his father's drug store, rubbed with whiskey and warmed in the oven. He grew up witnessing the end of the "horse drawn Westward migration."

Self taught as a painter, he was a newspaper artist for ten years in Denver. While in Denver, he received commissions from Eastern magazines for covers and illustrations on Western subjects. In addition he made twenty-five cent portraits for tourists at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and worked on sport illustrations.

About 1924, he moved to Hollywood, California where he worked as a motion picture title artist for seven years. He illustrated Western books including two on North American Indians, "Cottonwood Yarns" 1935; "Dickon Among the Lenape Indians," 1938; and The Westerner's "Brand Book" by the curator of the Southwest Museum, Mark Harrington. By 1941, he was being given one-man exhibitions at the Southwest Museum. His specialties were Indians and horses.


Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Holdredge, NE on Sept. 23, 1885. At age four Ellsworth began drawing animals and remained a self-taught artist. As a youth he was a loner and traveled extensively in the West. The years 1903-19 were spent in Denver where he was a staff artist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. When between jobs, he spent much of his time among the Shoshone, Blackfeet, and Sioux tribes. A lifelong bachelor, he fell in love with an Indian girl who died before they could marry. He was active in southern California after 1924 and by 1929 had settled in Hollywood where he worked for the movie studios as a title artist. Ellsworth remained a resident of Hollywood until his death on Feb. 17, 1961. His work was not appreciated during his lifetime since he never promoted it in any way. Today his Indian portraits are highly prized by collectors of western art. In: Bowers Museum (Santa Ana); Southwest Museum (LA).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Who's Who in American Art 1938-59; Artists of the American West (Samuels); Who's Who on the Pacific Coast 1951; American Western Art (Harmsen); Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy).
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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