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Zornes, Milford PDF Print E-mail

Zornes, Milford (1908-2008).

Milford Zornes, <i>Newport Bay</i>, sold                 by John Moran Auctioneers for $12,430 (est: $3000-$5000) on 10/26/04
Newport Bay by Milford Zornes (1908-2008)
10.5" x 29.75", Watercolor/Paper, Signed
Est.: $3,000 - $5,000
Sold by John Moran Auctioneers for $12,430 on 10/26/2004

A prominent artist in the watercolor movement known as California Style, Milford Zornes became especially known of his application of watercolor in broad brush strokes to large sheets of paper with planned areas of white, unpainted spaces showing through. This was a new way of watercolor painting, which traditionally has been done over pencil sketches.

He was born in Camargo, Oklahoma, and moved to Los Angeles while a teenager, and then at age 20 began adventurous travel that took him across the United States, had him working on the docks of New York City, and then shippping out to Denmark as a merchant seaman, a job that eventually led to a tour of Europe. He returned to Los Angeles by 1930, and studied at the Otis Art Institute with F. Tolles Chamberlain, and at Pomona College where Millard Sheets was his teacher.

Throughout the 1930s, he was exhibiting widely including the 1938 Art Institute of Chicago International Watercolor Exhibition, Seventeenth Year. Zornes received a $100 prize for one of his paintings.

Zornes did murals during World War II for the Federal Arts Project of the W.P.A., and was a United States Army artist correspondent in Burma and India. Because of the distinction of his W.P.A. and other wartime artwork, he was honored with a one-person exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, and one of his paintings was selected by President and Mrs. Franklin Roosevelt for the White House Collection. This attention brought him much positive publicity.

After the war, he lived in several locations in California, and traveled in Alaska and Greenland, and ultimately developed the idea of traveling watercolor workshops. Zornes has also taught watercolor workshops all over the world including in China, Alaska, Mexico, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Hawaii.

In 1963, Milford and his wife, Pat Zornes, bought the Maynard Dixon summer home and studio in Salt Lake City, Utah from Edith Hamlin, wife Maynard Dixon, to have a place for regular watercolor workshops.

Paintings by Milford Zornes are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Butler Institute of Art, National Academy of Design, San Diego Museum of Art, Laguna Beach Museum of Art, U.S. War Department Collection and Library of Congress Collection. Zornes has been an active member of the National Academy of Design (A.N.A.), American Watercolor Society (past president) and West Coast Watercolor Society.

Sources:
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
The Thunderbird Foundation
Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last, "Milford Zornes", California Watercolors 1850-1970

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