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 Enid Foster  (1895 - 1979)

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Lived/Active: California / England      Known for: sculpture, monotype pen drawings, painting

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Enid  Foster
An example of work by Enid Foster
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Enid Foster (1895-1979)
Known for:  sculpture, monotype pen drawings, oils

Enid Foster was born in San Francisco in 1895 because her maternal grandfather, who was a physician, lived there. She returned with her parents, Charles and Mina Foster and sister, Marie, across the bay to Sausalito, California where they lived in a home named The Hacienda. The family moved to Ross, California shortly after 1900 and Enid had a private-school, social-register upbringing in San Francisco and Marin County.

She was a pupil of Chester Beach, became recognized as a sculptor by 1917, and was included in the 1918 Annual Exhibit of the Architectural League of New York. She lived in San Francisco and did sculpture commissions until she moved to England in 1928. She became a pupil and studio assistant for Frank Dobson and also studied painting with Augustus John. She returned to America in 1938 and settled in Sausalito, where she lived until 1971.

By 1950, she was turning away from sculpture, and devoted the 1950s and the years after to painting and developing what she termed monotype pen drawings—abstract monotype color splashes altered with china white and crowquill pen drawings in India ink, creating representational but fantastic images like the one shown on the previous page, which is from her 1958-1959 Harlequin series.

During those years, she was also involved in little theater and served as the central figure in a thriving Sausalito art colony that included figures such as Richard Diebenkorn, Jean Varda, Walter Kuhlman and Frank Lobdell. She continued working in Sausalito until she moved to Paris in 1971, intending to live and work there until her death. However, she suffered a stroke in 1975, and the French sent her home.

She spent her last years in convalescent homes in Mill Valley and Greenbrae in Marin County, but at the last was transferred to a hospital in St. Helena, California, where she died in 1979.

Written and submitted by Carol & Allan Hayes, who wrote: "We knew Enid personally and were her close friends, and are the authors of a book awaiting publication: Enid Foster: Artist, Sculptor, Poet, Playwright, Creative Force, Ringleader, Cultural Icon.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in San Francisco, CA on Oct. 28, 1896, Enid Foster was a pupil of Chester Beach and a resident of San Francisco until the early 1930s.  Member: SF Women Artists. Exh: SFAA, 1925-32; EastWest Gallery (SF), 1927; Labaudt Gallery (SF), 1950. In: Golden Gate Park (Memorial Pool to Sarah B. Cooper); Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland (Three Fates).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1933; Who's Who in American Art 1936-41; California Arts and Architecture list, 1932; Death record.
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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