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 Leroy Dayton Updyke  (1876 - 1959)

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Lived/Active: Washington      Known for: easel and mural painting, Pacific northwest, woodland scenes, mountains

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Mt. Rainier
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Leroy Dayton UpDyke was born March 3, 1876 in Elmira, N.Y. and died in Seattle at age 83 on September 2, 1959.  He is listed in some art reference books, notably in Washington State Art and Artists, 1850-1950 (Trip & Dode, 1992), which contains biographical information and mentions his work with his Hoodsport WA based friend Melvin Bearden on murals for the New York World’s Fair* and for the Golden Gate International Exposition*, both of which took place in 1939-1940.   

The extent and source of his art training are not known, but very likely he had some formal instruction as an art student or with an established painter.  Some woodland scenes of eastern forests and scenes of an orientalist* nature suggest that he was active in his profession prior to establishing himself as a northwest landscape artist in Seattle.  By 1916 he was living in that city, where, with some minor exceptions, he lived until his death.  University of Washington records from 1919 mention him as being on its staff, likely accounting for the nickname “The Professor” sometimes accorded him.

Like his friend John Delane, and other artists of that time and place, most of UpDyke’s oil paintings are on grey paperboard panels, although occasionally he worked with oil on canvas. In addition to selling paintings out of his home studio and at local fairs (where he also did on-the-spot portraits), his paintings were sold at art outlets, such as the Seattle Art Company. 

Most of his artwork depicts Mt. Rainier and its environs, but he also painted seascapes and scenes of the Olympic Mountains. Paintings of the Three Sisters Range near Canmore, Alberta and of the Lake Louise area document that he also spent time working in Canada, probably in the early 1920s.  

On official records, such as his draft registration, UpDyke spelled his name with both the U and the D capitalized. Although occasionally he used only a -U- monogram to sign his work, most of his paintings are signed with his last name, with the U and the D as described. 

Submitted by Ron Chase, Collector of work by Northwest Artists

U.S. Census records, Washington State official records, newspaper accounts, Seattle city directories, Seattle Public Library files, auction records and knowledge gained as a collector of northwest landscapes by UpDyke and others for over 35 years.

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