Jay Meuser

Last updated
Jay Meuser
Jay Meuser, 1950.jpg
Meuser painting General of the Army Douglas MacArthur's portrait in 1950
Born(1911-09-28)September 28, 1911
DiedAugust 19, 1963(1963-08-19) (aged 51)
NationalityAmerican
Known for Painting
Movement Abstract Expressionism
AwardsFirst Award in Oil Painting: 1951 (21st) & 1953 (23rd) Annual Fall Exhibition, 1952 (22nd) & 1953 (23rd) Annual Spring Exhibition and 1953 Gallery Opening Exhibition, San Pedro Art Association

First Award in Water Color: 1953-23rd Annual Fall Exhibition, San Pedro Art Association
Jury Commendation (1953) and First Award and Gold Medal of Honor for Water Color (1955): 2nd & 4th Annual Greater Long Beach Art Exhibition
Jury Award Certificate and Blue Ribbon in Oil Painting: 1954-9th Annual National Madonna Festival, Los Angeles

Contents

H. Daniels Award: 42nd Annual National Exhibition California Water Color Society, 1962
ElectedPresident - San Pedro Art Association, 1953
Member - California Water Color Society, 1955

Jay Meuser (September 28, 1911 — August 19, 1963) was an American abstract expressionist painter. Meuser's style was versatile and his works prolific. In his lifetime he worked as an illustrator, portrait painter and cartoonist for several newspaper editorial pages.

Biography

He married Dorothy Ellen Morris in 1938. Their only child, Jacqueline Ellen Meuser, married Suren Saroyan, MD, cousin of the famous American Playwright William Saroyan.

"I've led a most full life," he said to his wife just before his death. [1] Besides teaching at the Art School of San Francisco, he had been a baseball pitcher, a vaudeville performer, a sailor working around the world twice, and "was more than a fair boxer." [2] He had worn 14 different law enforcement badges. At 31, he was the youngest chief of police in Marin County, California. [2] As a member of the Sheet Metal Workers International, he worked at the Terminal Island Naval Shipyard. There he was awarded the Navy's "Certificate of Award" for a suggestion that was adopted concerning the building of naval ships. [3] He also wrote a column in the union's newspaper.

Career

Meuser painted many of the 20th century prominent personalities, including Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy. His portrait of Roosevelt hung in the White House and he received a personal letter of thanks from the late president. While at the shipyard, he was commissioned to paint the portraits of Rear Admiral and Mrs. Paul Hendren, USN and Rear Admiral T. P. Wynkoop USN. [4] He drew two sketches of General Douglas MacArthur in 1950; each accompanying editorials in the Long Beach Press Telegram. [5] [6] The latter sketch prompted an oil painting commissioned by a prominent businessman in the San Francisco Bay Area. [7] Shortly after his death, the original sketch of General MacArthur was donated to Fort MacArthur, San Pedro CA by his wife in 1964. [1] In addition to his oil, water and casein paint colors, he also did many editorial cartoon sketches for newspapers.

Later work

Abstract nude painting, 1956 Abstract nude, by Jay Meuser, 1956.jpg
Abstract nude painting, 1956

By 1949, Meuser had devoted his life to painting full-time. Around 1950 he became interested in abstraction. Previously, his subjects were depicted in realistic terms. He wrote about his painting Mare Nostrum, "It is far better to capture the glorious spirit of the sea than to paint all of its tiny ripples." [1] The vast majority of his artwork was painted between 1949 and 1957. The variety and quality of his work, as well as the quantity, during this period was significant.

As President of the San Pedro Art Association in 1953, he oversaw three galleries and designed, renovated and constructed plans for the group's first permanent gallery. In 1955 he was elected a member of the nationwide California Water Color Society (currently known as the National Watercolor Society), where he was close friends with past presidents Arnold Franz Brasz and Leonard Edmondson. He participated and won awards in scores of art exhibitions across the country. His award winning painting Occultation went on tour in the traveling section of the California Water Color Society's Annual Exhibition of 1962. His abstract work Northward was requested by the Long Beach Museum of Art in 1957 and remains in the museum's permanent collection as Abstract Expressionism.

Honors and recognition

  • California Legislature, State Assembly Certificate of Recognition, July 7, 2011.
  • City of Los Angeles Certificate of Tribute, July 7, 2011.
  • County of Los Angeles Commendation, July 7, 2011.
  • Plaque Dedication by the San Pedro Art Association honoring Jay Meuser, mounted on an historical building in the heart of the San Pedro Art Walk, July 7, 2011.
  • Jay Meuser Memorial Award, presented by the National Watercolor Society for Abstract Art.

Purchase prizes

  • San Pedro Art Patrons Purchase Award, 1953.
  • Top Recommendation for Purchase by Jury of Awards — Long Beach Museum of Art, 1957.

Exhibitions

Abstract scene, c. 1955 Abstract scene, by Jay Meuser.jpg
Abstract scene, c. 1955
  • Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, California
  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California
  • Oakland Art Museum, Oakland, California
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia
  • California State Fair, Sacramento, California
  • National Orange Show, San Bernardino, California
  • Pasadena Museum of Art, Pasadena, California
  • Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado
  • National Institute of Modern Art, Mexico City, Mexico
  • The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California
  • DeCordova Museum of Art, Lincoln Massachusetts
  • Santa Monica Art Gallery, Santa Monica, California
  • Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
  • Palos Verdes Library/Gallery, Palos Verdes Estates, California
  • Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California
  • Benjamin Franklin Library, Mexico City, Mexico
  • North American Cultural Institute, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Newport Harbor Annual, Newport Beach, California
  • San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, California

Collections

  • Marymount College, Palos Verdes, California
  • Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
  • Richard Dana Junior High School, San Pedro, California
  • Fort MacArthur, San Pedro, California
  • John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California

Affiliations

  • Past President of the San Pedro Art Association (1953)
  • California Water Color Society
  • San Francisco Art Institute
  • Los Angeles Art Association
  • Artists Equity Association

Related Research Articles

San Pedro, Los Angeles Neighborhood of Los Angeles in Los Angeles

San Pedro is a community within the city of Los Angeles, California. Formerly a separate city, it consolidated with Los Angeles in 1909. The Port of Los Angeles, a major international seaport, is partially located within San Pedro. The district has grown from being dominated by the fishing industry, to a working-class community within the city of Los Angeles, to a rapidly gentrifying community.

Richard Neutra Austrian-American architect

Richard Joseph Neutra was a Jewish Austrian-American architect. Living and building for the majority of his career in Southern California, he came to be considered among the most prominent and important modernist architects.

Palos Verdes Peninsula Sub-region of the Los Angeles metropolitan area in California

The Palos Verdes Peninsula is a landform and a geographic sub-region of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, within southwestern Los Angeles County in the U.S. state of California. Located in the South Bay region, the peninsula contains a group of affluent cities in the Palos Verdes Hills, including Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates. The South Bay city of Torrance borders the peninsula on the north, the Pacific Ocean is on the west and south, and the Port of Los Angeles is east. As of the 2010 Census, the population of the Palos Verdes Peninsula is 65,008.

Richard Diebenkorn American painter

Richard Diebenkorn was an American painter and printmaker. His early work is associated with abstract expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. In the late 1960s he began his extensive series of geometric, lyrical abstract paintings. Known as the Ocean Park paintings, these paintings were instrumental to his achievement of worldwide acclaim.

Delmer J. Yoakum American painter

Delmer J. Yoakum was an American fine artist, oil and watercolor painter, designer, serigrapher, Disneyland and Hollywood motion picture studio scenic artist.

Manuel Dominguez Californio rancher and politician

Don Manuel Domínguez (1803–1882) was a Californio ranchero, politician, and a signer of the Californian Constitution in 1849. He served as two terms as Alcalde of Los Angeles (mayor). He was one of the largest landowners in Southern California, having inherited Rancho San Pedro in 1825, one of the largest ranchos in California. He was one of the founders of the cities of Carson and Compton and of the fishing village of San Pedro. Today, California State University, Dominguez Hills and the communities of Rancho Dominguez, East Rancho Dominguez, and West Rancho Dominguez bear his family's name.

Rancho San Pedro California land grant

Rancho San Pedro was one of the first California land grants and the first to win a patent from the United States. The Spanish Crown granted the 75,000 acres (300 km2) of land to soldier Juan José Domínguez in 1784, with his descendants validating their legal claim with the Mexican government at 48,000 acres (190 km2) in 1828, and later maintaining their legal claim through a United States patent validating 43,119 acres (174.50 km2) in 1858. The original Spanish land grant included what today consists of the Pacific coast cities of Los Angeles harbor, San Pedro, the Palos Verdes peninsula, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach, and east to the Los Angeles River, including the cities of Lomita, Gardena, Harbor City, Wilmington, Carson, Compton, and western portions of Long Beach and Paramount.

Elyse Pignolet is a visual artist living and working in Los Angeles, California.

James Edward Grant was an American painter and sculptor active from the late 1950s into the early 1970s. Best known for his sculptural work in plastics, this work by no means defined him, but was rather a natural endpoint of an exploration into increased dimensionality—starting from abstract canvases, moving through collages and bas-reliefs until the work finally came off the wall in sculptural form.

Roger Edward Kuntz was a highly accomplished Southern California landscape painter and a member of the Claremont Group of painters - professors and graduates of Pomona College, Scripps College, and the Claremont Graduate School. A figurative artist with an eye for abstract form, he won critical acclaim for striking compositions that transform an unusual array of subjects, including tennis players, domestic interiors, freeways, road signs, bathtubs and the Goodyear Blimp. A retrospective exhibition of his work, at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, CA in 2009, was aptly titled "Roger Kuntz: The Shadow Between Representation and Abstraction". In the exhibition catalogue, curator Susan M. Anderson wrote: "Kuntz's work of the late 1950s and early 1960s quintessentially embodied the experimentation, fragmentation, and paradox in American culture of the time."

Henry Pierre Villierme was an American painter associated with abstract expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Villierme was considered one of the "Second Generation" members of the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Villierme first rose to prominence with a series of successful exhibitions in the late 1950s. From the 1960s to the 1980s Villierme continued to paint and sculpt in his studio, and in the late 1980s returned to public exhibitions.

Ed Moses was an American artist based in Los Angeles and a central figure of postwar West Coast art.

Chowigna, California Former settlement in California, United States

Chowigna is a former Tongva-Gabrieleño Native American settlement in Los Angeles County, California.

Keith Crown

Keith Crown was an American abstract painter and Professor of Art at the University of Southern California, best known for his vibrant, expressive watercolors of the American southwest.

John Main Olguin was an American aquarium official who served as the museum director of the Cabrillo Marine Museum, which has since been renamed the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, from 1949 until 1987, when he became director emeritus. Olguin has been called the "father of recreational whale watching", as he was the founder of the Cabrillo Whalewatch program and a founding member of the American Cetacean Society.

Luis Gutierrez is an American artist based in Los Gatos, California, USA.

The San Pedro Art Association, established in 1936, is an art association set within the Los Angeles Harbor community of California. It has a history of established and well known artists dating back to its inception. Through exhibitions and public lectures, it encouraged works beyond representational art, and included figurative and abstract expressionist paintings in the 1950s. Though it originally exhibited primarily watercolor and oil paintings, the association evolved to include various other mediums and art forms.

Lou Grant (cartoonist)

Lou Grant was an American editorial cartoonist. He mainly worked for the Oakland Tribune for 40 years and was the syndicated political cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times. His work was syndicated with the Los Angeles Times, and was seen daily throughout the country, as well periodically worldwide in Newsweek, (1960-1986) and Time Magazine (1960-1986). His life's work covered comedy and political satire, sports, radio, and political cartoons.

Jack Hooper (artist) American painter

Jack Hooper was an American painter, muralist, sculptor, printmaker and art educator. Hooper was a major figure on the Southern California art scene, belonging to that generation of Los Angeles painters who matured during the late 1950s and the 1960s, painters such as John Altoon, Sam Amato, Robert Irwin, Lee Mullican, William Brice and Billy Al Bengston. He was an innovator in the use of new materials, most importantly plastic in art. He is known for abstract expressionist, mural and figurative painting. Hooper has exhibited in art museums and galleries nationally and internationally including solo shows in Europe, Mexico and the United States. Modeling renown UCLA art professor and figurative artist, Jan Stussy, the last 20 years of his life were spent in rural Mexico, where he drew and painted every single day until his death.

Ron Linden

Ron Linden is a California abstract painter, independent curator, and associate professor of art at Los Angeles Harbor College, Wilmington. He lives and works in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "MacArthur Art is Gift to Fort". San Pedro News Pilot, San Pedro, CA. November 4, 1964. p. 13.
  2. 1 2 "Corte Madera Police Department". Police and Peace Officers' Journal. June 1942. p. 36.
  3. "Department of the Navy". Long Beach Naval Shipyard. August 23, 1949.
  4. "News of Navy Colony". Long Beach Press Telegram, Long Beach, CA. April 15, 1949.
  5. "U.S. Is Obliged to Build Physical Might to Support Its Convictions". Long Beach Press Telegram, CA, Editorial Page. July 14, 1950.
  6. "MacArthur- Man of the Hour". Long Beach Press Telegram, Long Beach, CA, Editorial Page. November 26, 1950.
  7. "Harbor Artist Executes Oil Portrait of M'Arthur". Long Beach Press Telegram, Long Beach, CA, Sunday. December 31, 1950.