Will SparksLaura Neill
Will Sparks was my grandmother's uncle. He was originally from St. Louis, MO. He studied science, but didn't pursue medical school. He was an illustrator for Louis Pasteur when he was living in Paris. While in Paris, he also wrote for the newspaper. At some point he made it back to the US and settled in San Francisco. He was married, but they had no children. She taught art at one of the colleges in the area. My mother has a large collection of sketches, pencil drawings, studies, clippings, etc. Most of his pieces are tiny. I've only seen one piece larger than about 12 x 12. Everyone in the family has a couple of "Uncle Will's" paintings, so I think I've seen a pretty strong sample of his work. It is my understanding that the series of paintings that he did of the California missions is currently owned by an organization of men who annually tour the missions on horseback. The paintings are not on display as this group does not have an official headquarters. I hope this was helpful and I'm looking forward to learning more myself.
Will SparksSheila Ralph
My grandfather, Vic Sparks, an Alaskan artist, attended the San Fransisco Art Institute in 1906. Will Sparks was an instructor there and I am trying to see if there is a family connection. Any information would be appreciated. Sheila