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Featured Artists

Darwin Duncan


Darwin Duncan (1905-2002) Some of the following biographical material is courtesy of Mr. Anthony P. Menditto of Sun City, California, a friend and painting partner of Darwin Duncan's for the last ten years, painting en plein air at least once every week.

Darwin Duncan, a painter of the California landscape, was born in St. James, Minnesota, on July 28, 1905. His parents brought him to California when he was five years old because of his asthmatic condition. As a child, Duncan developed a love of drawing, which stayed with him as an adult.

At the age of 29, he met the painter Karl Albert, who said to him, "You draw better than I do. Maybe you should start painting." With that encouragement, Duncan did his first desert painting in 1934. He and Karl Albert soon met Edgar Payne who stopped at the Albert's mom and pop grocery store in Oro Grande, California to outfit himself for one of his trips to the Sierras. This encounter was the beginning of Duncan's development as a Plein-Air painter under the tutelage of Payne, which lasted until Edgar Payne's death in 1947.

Duncan was soon to also start lessons with Samuel Hyde Harris and they developed a close friendship that lasted some 30 years. During the 1940's, Duncan also studied figure painting at the Los Angeles Business Men's Institute with Christian Von Schneidau.

Starting in 1957, he instructed art for 17 years for Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, followed by 7 years at Palomar College in San Marcos, California.

In 1985, Duncan was commissioned by the Rev. Dr. Robert Schuller to paint several large landscapes for the famous Baldwin Manor on Maui Island, Hawaii. His paintings are included in many collections in the United States and abroad. A fine diorama of the desert is included in The Living Desert Museum in Palm Desert, California.

Duncan's paintings include scenes of the California deserts and ranch lands, for the most part. He has lectured and demonstrated throughout the Southwest, Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico.

Darwin Duncan holds life memberships in the Laguna Beach Art Association and Museum in Laguna Beach, California, the Paramount Art Association in Paramount, California, Huntington Beach Art Association in Huntington Beach, California, and Southland Art Association in Montebello, California. Duncan was president of the Long Beach Spectrum Club.

He has been featured in "Forgotten California Artists," February, 1989 issue of "Antiques & Fine Art." He is also mentioned in "Artists in California, 1786-1940" by Hughes, Edan Milton, 1989, "Art and Artists" published by The Desert Art Center, 1964 (Palm Springs, California), "Widening Horizons" (Painters of the Western Desert) in "Western Woman, 1952," Treasury of Living Art," published by The Desert Art Center in 1975 and "Artists of Southern California, Vol. II" published by Mountain Productions Of Texas, Inc., 1991.

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