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Theodore Wores (1859-1939)

Born in San Francisco on August 1, 1859, Theodore Wores began his art training at age 12 in the studio of Joseph Harrington. When the local School of Design opened in 1874 he was one of the first pupils to enroll. After one year at that school under Virgil Williams, he further studied at the Royal Academy in Munich and painted with Rosenthal, Chase, Duveneck, and Whistler. 

Upon returning to San Francisco in 1881, he began painting Chinatown subjects. Three years were spent in Japan in the mid-1880s followed by years of traveling and exhibiting in London, New York and Boston, and made a second trip to Japan before returning to San Francisco in 1898. About this time Wores concentrated on portraiture but began painting the California landscape for the first time. 

The years 1901-03 were ones of travel in Hawaii, Samoa, and Spain. In 1907 he was appointed Dean of the San Francisco Art Institute, a position he held for six years. In 1913 he painted in Hawaii and Calgary, Canada, and 1915-17 was spent in Taos, New Mexico where he painted the Southwest Indians. His artistic output was great and included Japanese, Hawaiian, Samoan figure studies and San Francisco Chinatown subjects. 

In his later years he concentrated on the flowering orchards around his studio in Saratoga. During his early career his palette held the warm brown colors of the Munich School and evolved later to the lighter shades of Impressionism. He died in San Francisco on September 11, 1939. 

Member: Bohemian Club; Century Club; Salmagundi Club; Art Society of Japan; New English Art Club, London; San Francisco Art Association. 

Exhibition: Royal Academy, Munich, 1876, 1878 (gold and bronze medals); Royal Academy, London; Paris Salon; California State Fair, 1882, 1899; San Francisco Art Association, 1882-1915; World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893; California Midwinter Exposition, 1894; Bohemian Club, 1894 (solo); National Academy of Design; St. Louis Exposition, 1895 (medal); Century Club, New York, 1904; Alaska-Yukon Exposition, Seattle, 1909 (gold medal); Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915 (gold medal); Bohemian Club, 1922; Stanford Museum, 1922; Stendahl Gallery, Los Angeles, 1924; Cosmos Club, Washington, DC; Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939. 

Works held: Bohemian Club; Oakland Museum; California Palace of the Legion of Honor; De Young Museum; San Francisco Museum of Art; St Francis Hospital, San Francisco; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; White House, Washington, DC; Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley; Crocker Museum, Sacramento; Monterey Peninsula Museum; Honolulu Academy of Arts; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Brooklyn Museum; Indianapolis Museum; Portland Museum, Oregon; Triton Museum, Santa Clara; Society of California Pioneers. 


Source: Artists in California, 1786-1940, Edan Hughes

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