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 Ferdinand M. (Fred) Sersen  (1890 - 1962)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: watercolor coastal and desert view painting

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Ad Code: 4
Ferdinand M Sersen
from Auction House Records.
Oaks in River Landscape
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from California Watercolor:
Fred Sersen (1890 - 1962)  Born: Czechoslovakia; Studied: Portland Art Academy, Mark Hopkins Institute of Art (San Francisco), Los Angeles School of Art; Member: California Water Color Society.  Fred Sersen was seventeen when he immigrated to the United States and by 1916, took up permanent residence in the Los Angeles area.

While he received a number of awards for his fine art watercolors, Sersen is best known for his work in the motion picture industry. He started as a scenic artist at the Twentieth Century-Fox Studios and eventually became head of their special effects department. Most of the large watercolors he produced for the film industry were photorealistic works which, when photographed and incorporated into the action sequences, appeared to be actual scenes. He was nominated for nine Academy Awards and received two Oscars for motion picture work.

Biographical information:
Interview with Florence Sersen, 1982.

Biography courtesy of California Watercolors 1850-1970,
©2002 Hillcrest Press, Inc.

Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
A painter, Ferdinand Sersen was born in Czechoslovakia on Feb. 24, 1890.  'Fred' Sersen came to the U.S. at age 17.  He first studied at the Los Angeles School of Art and Design and continued at the Portland (OR) Art Academy and San Francisco Institute of Art. 

While at the latter, the Canadian government commissioned him to produce a mural for the Panama Pacific International Exposition.  He painted a series of cityscapes of San Francisco before returning to Los Angeles.

Most of his career was spent as head of the special effects department at 20th Century Fox where he was nominated for nine Academy Awards and received two Oscars.  The subjects of his oils and watercolors include city scenes, coastals, and the desert near Borrego Springs where he had a second home.

Sersen died in Los Angeles on Dec. 11, 1962.

Eagle Rock Artists, 1931; Academy of Western Painters (LA), 1935-38; California Art Club, 1938; Golden Gate International Exposition, 1940; Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1942 (2nd prize); California Watercolor Society, 1945-54. Eagle Rock Sentinel, 11-6-1931; CD; MaS; PF.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
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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