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William Lees Judson (1842-1928)

Born in Manchester, England on April 1, 1842, William Lees Judson immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1852. He was educated in the public schools of Brooklyn and Ontario, Canada. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Civil War and afterwards spent several years as a farmer in Ontario. 

He studied art in New York City with John B. Irving (1872-73) followed by three years in Paris at Académie Julian under Jules Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger. Returning from Europe, Judson worked in New York City, Toronto and London, Canada until 1890 when he moved to Chicago where he was active as a portraitist. 

After the Chicago World's Fair, he moved to Southern California where he taught at the Los Angeles School of Art & Design. Judson was an art professor at USC from 1896-1901 and in 1901 founded the USC College of Fine Arts. He was Dean of that school until his death in Los Angeles on October 26, 1928. 

His oeuvre includes landscapes, coastal scenes, missions, and Indian subjects in oil and watercolor. He was also the originator of the Craftsman movement in the Arroyo Seco of Pasadena. 

Exhibitions: Thurber Gallery, Chicago, 1891; San Francisco Art Association, 1891-1916; California Midwinter Exposition, San Francisco, 1894; Los Angeles Art Association, 1894; Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles, 1894; California State Fair, 1899, 1900; Blanchard Gallery, Los Angeles, 1900; Ruskin Art Club, Los Angeles, 1902-04; University of Southern California, 1907, 1910; Alaska-Yukon Exposition, Seattle, 1909; Steckel Gallery, Los Angeles, 1913, 1914; Friday Morning Club, Los Angeles, 1913; California Art Club, 1914-27; Panama-California Exposition, San Diego, 1915 (bronze medal); Daniell Gallery, Los Angeles, 1916; Battey Gallery, Pasadena, 1917; California Liberty Fair, 1918; Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art, 1918 (solo); Painters & Sculptors of Los Angeles, 1920-25; Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, 1921 (prize); Kanst Gallery, Los Angeles, 1922; Artland Club, Los Angeles, 1927; Artists of Southern California, 1930. 

Collections: Bowers Museum, Santa Ana; Irvine Museum; Orange County Museum of Art. 


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

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