George Demont Otis,
American Impressionist

george demont otis
This website contains over 600 images of art by George Demont Otis

Order here:

American Impressionist

-- 85 Paintings in Color,
10 in Black & White, 114 Pages, Softcover, Glossy, Squarebound --

California Catalogue Paintings


In the Fall of 1995, Grace Hartley, the Executive Director of the George Demont Otis Foundation, mentioned to me that she was hoping for an opportunity to present these works to the public for a chance to view the collection. During that same meeting, Grace expressed her desire to produce a catalogue featuring a selection of Otis’ works in California. Her sense was that the catalogue would serve as a permanent documentation of Otis’ California experience.

The Sonoma County Museum could not be more pleased to present this catalogue, which has been produced by Aurel Keck in conjunction with the exhibit, The California Collection: George Demont Otis, American Impressionist. As the title indicates, the focus of the catalogue and the exhibit is on the works of George Demont Otis in California.

Otis has long been considered one of America’s premiere Impressionists and one of California’s leading proponents of landscape painting. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, orphaned at the age of six and sent to Chicago, Otis’ artistic training started at age fifteen at the Chicago Art Institute. Later, Otis studied and painted with such well known artists as Robert Henri, John Sloan, Winslow Homer, Thomas Moran, William Merritt Chase, John F. Carlson, Wellington Reynolds, and John Vanderpoel. In 1919, Otis brought his education, talent, love of nature, and teaching to Southern California where he worked until 1930.

Later that year, he relocated to San Francisco. Between that time and his death in 1962, Otis continued to travel and paint extensively throughout California and the West. As a skilled painter, etcher, lithographer, stage designer, wood carver, restorer, author, poet, philosopher, and teacher, Otis influenced countless artists who were his companions and students.

The exhibit and catalogue could not have been conceivable without the tremendous support of Grace Hartley, niece of George Demont Otis and Executive Director of the George Demont Otis Foundation. Others who played a vital role were members of the Sonoma County Museum staff and volunteers, including Marion McMurtry, Kristy White, and the Sonoma County Museum’s Curator, Evangeline Tai. A special thanks is also extended to the scholars and art historians who assisted in this project, including State Librarian of California, Dr. Kevin Starr, Otis Foundation Associate, Jessie Brady, George Roberts, Joann Moser, Dan Lineau, and of course, Grace Hartley.

The exhibition at the Sonoma County Museum has been supported by the generous backing of Mike Parman, the Press Democrat, and the Exchange Bank. I would like to sincerely thank Aurel Keck who truly made this exhibit and catalogue possible, not only as a major lender to the exhibition, but for his tremendous financial and organizational support in bringing this catalogue to reality.

J. Eric Nelson
Executive Director
Sonoma County Museum


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