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ANNITA DELANO (1894 - 1979)

Annita Delano
(1894 - 1979)

Sunset Crater, Arizona
c. 1930's
Dry Watercolor
22" x 30"


Modern Art Workers (LA), 1925

Calif. Art Club, 1926-36

Dow Ass'n (LA), 1928

Chelsea Gallery (LA), 1937

East-West Gallery (SF), 1929 (solo)

Oakland Art Gallery, 1929

Ebell Club (LA), 1933

CPLH, 1933 (solo)

UCLA, 1933, 1949, 1951, 1952 (solos)

Foundation of Western Art (LA), 1936

San Diego State College, 1954 (solo)

Fresno State College, 1959 (solo)

Born in Hueneme, California October 2, 1894, to Thomas and Margarita (Hefner) Delano, Annita Delano became a leader of the modernist painting movement in California, both as a painter and a professor of art.  She enrolled in the art program at the Los Angeles Normal School, which in 1919 became the University of California Southern Branch (UCLA). She studied art and art history and began her career as a Professor of Art at the University from 1920 until 1963.   Annita Delano was a founding member of the UCLA Art Department and was on the faculty for 40 years. She taught courses in fine art, art history, and applied design. Her own paintings were widely exhibited, both as part of group shows and in 30 solo exhibitions of her work. She was an important figure in the development of the art world of Southern California and was a member of many organizations, including the California Watercolor Society and the Los Angeles Art Association, and exhibited widely in California.


She also studied at Columbia University (summer 1922) on a scholarship at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania.  She also spent two years conducting research with the Barnes Foundation, which provided her a scholarship for a four-month research trip to Europe during 1930-1931. During this trip, she spent time with the Bauhaus faculty as well as with architects Richard Neutra and Josef Albers and artist Anni Albers.


She lived primarily in Los Angeles but was noted for her southwestern desert landscapes and Indian figure and genre.  Beginning 1925, she painted most summers in New Mexico and Arizona, living among the Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni Indians.  Although immersed in Modernism, Delano never abandoned representation in her paintings.  Delano's fondness of the Impressionists and her relationship with Matisse did cause her brushstrokes to be invigorated and her palette to be lightened.


She spent 28 summers on painting trips to Arizona and New Mexico, beginning in the late 1920s. She recalled spending three months painting, camping, and exploring each summer. Her artistic works were especially inspired by the landscapes of the Southwest and the Native American.

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