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Posted by Larry

Elmer Wachtel was born in Baltimore, Maryland on January 21, 1864. He attended the Art Students' League of New York under William Merritt Chase, and the Art School in London 1901-02. He resided and maintained studios in Los Angeles and Pasadena. In 1904 he married the artist Marion Kavanaugh Wachtel (1876-1954) in Chicago.

Husband and wife painted the Southern California landscape by traveling by horseback over the San Marcos Pass to the Santa Inez Valley, they painted the coastline between Gaviota and Conception Lighthouse (just north of Santa Barbara, California), the Cooper Ranch (north of Santa Barbara), Matilija Canyon and Ojai, California. Then they traveled south to the San Luis Rey River (near present day Oceanside) and the Cerisa Loma Ranch (near San Diego). In 1908 they ventured to the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico painting the villages on the Moki and Navajo reservations.

During their marriage Marion specialized as a general rule in watercolors while Elmer stayed with oils. In 1906 a Los Angeles Times critic noted, "Elmer knows Southern California perhaps more intimately than any other artist. He paints her directly, simply, truthfully, and yet never with topographic hardness and realism...". While on a trip to Mexico, Elmer Wachtel died a sudden death in Guadalajara on August 31, 1929.

The author of this Elmer Wachtel BIOGRAPHY is an active buyer of paintings by Elmer Wachtel, Marion Kavanaugh Wachtel and other early California artists. He can be reached through email at, (Larry)

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