California water color society

DEFINITION

An association that by the end of the 20th century has become the largest regional water media organization in California. Its resources are dedicated to the artistic growth of artists of all ages, and to the awarding of scholarship funds to students to help further their study of art. The California Water Color Society was established to provide an exhibition venue for watercolor paintings to encourage artists in that medium and to further public appreciation of watercolor. It was one of the most important art clubs to form in California after World War I, although New York had clubs devoted to watercolor from the mid 19th century. Originally there were fourteen members of the CWCS, and Dana Bartlett was the first president. The first exhibition was held in 1921 at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art. Artists entering work were Marion Wachtel, Carl Oscar Borg, William Ritschel, Donna Schuster, Dana Bartlett, Hanson Puthuff, John Cotton, Edouard Vysekal, Charles L.A. Smith, Henri De Kruif, Max Wieczorek, Karl Yens, Crafts Watson and Birger Sandzen. Throughout the 1920s, the California Water Color Society grew to over 100 members, and most of them were represented by galleries, which in turn were a promotional vehicle for the watercolors. (Winslow Homer is generally credited by art historians as the first artist to treat watercolor with the same respect as oils.) Sources: Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last, "California Watercolors, 1850-1970"; Nancy Moure, "California Art"; www.californiawatercolor.org; www.californiawatercolor.org

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