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 Ralph W. Hulett  (1915 - 1974)

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Lived/Active: California/Illinois      Known for: landscape-shore, genre, cartoonist

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Ad Code: 3
Ralph Hulett
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Illinois, August 1, 1915, Ralph Hulett has been a prominent West Coast artist, associated with landscape painting, movie animation, and illustration. He was educated in Illinois and California where he had a four-year scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute.  From 1937, he was associated with Walt Disney Studios where he was involved in animation, background and color styling.

As a painter, he was a member of the American Watercolor Society, California Watercolor Society, West Coast Watercolor Society, Society of Illustrators, and a life member of the Laguna Art Association.

He traveled and painted for the U. S. Air Force in Viet Nam, Japan and the Philippines and is recipient of over 25 local and national awards, with one man exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and New York City.  He is represented in collections of Grand Central Galleries, and Ford Motor Company as well as several museums.

Hulett has designed and produced art and documentary films for Cathedral Films, Swissair, Capital Record Corp., and KNBC Television. He received the 1965 Chris Award and Statuette for The Guide as best religious film of the year.  He has also made Christmas designs for Designers Showcase.

Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information is from Patrick O. McLead:

I recently found a framed print by Ralph Hulett depicting a street scene of Olvera St. Los Angeles, California.  Being intrigued by his work I turned to the Web to try and find out more info.  I discovered that the print I have or one very similar to it was used on the cover of Westways Magazine in 1954 by AAA to promote tourism and draw people to Olvera St.  The AAA web sight gives information on the restoration of Olvera St. and some of the artist used to help promote it.

This information can be found at

An added note about Ralph Hulett.  He did a total of 4 covers for Westways magazine. Sept. 1950, Feb. 1954, Mar. 1959 and Jan. 1960.  All of the originals of these are kept in the art archives of Westways in Los Angeles.  This information came from Morgan Yates - Corporate Archivist, Automobile Club of Southern California.

Biography from
Biography provided courtesy of “California Watercolors 1850-1970” By Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last.

Ralph Hulett (1915-1974)... Born: Kankakee, IL

Studied: Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles)

Member: American Watercolor Society, California Water Color Society.

Ralph Hulett came to California as a teenager and attended high school in Glendale. From a young age, his artistic talents were obvious and upon graduation, he was awarded a four-year scholarship to study at the Chouinard Art Institute. His instructors were Millard Sheets, Phil Dike, Phil Paradise and Herb Jepson. While still at college, he was hired by the Walt Disney Studios to work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

After graduation in 1938, he went to work full-time at Disney. He did watercolor backgrounds for Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Saludos Amigos and The Three Cahalleros. By the 1940s, he had earned enough seniority to receive screen credits for his work on Make Mine Music, Song of the South, Melody Time, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmations and The Jungle Book.

Hulett was also a prolific fine art watercolorist with an amazing command of the medium. By 1937, he was an exhibiting member of the California Water Color Society and sold his works through local art galleries. In the 1940s, he was also exhibiting in New York City in the American Watercolor Society~s annual shows. Most of the subjects he chose to depict were scenes of California and Mexico, but he also did work while traveling in Japan, Europe and Central America.

Other projects he worked on included a series of oil paintings depicting old areas of Los Angeles and the Bunker Hill region in particular. He produced watercolor illustrations that appeared in Ford Times, Westways and other magazine publications. In the 1950s, he designed a very popular series of cards for the Designers' Showcase Company and did commercial work for Swiss-Air, Capital Records and KNBC. During the 1960s, he also received acclaim for animated films he produced. Hulett was also the author of an art instruction book for the Walter Foster Company.

Biographical information:

Interview with Shirley Hulett Sullivan, 1983.

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