Posted by Larry
William Wendt was born on February 20, 1865 in Bentzen, Germany.
He immigrated to the United States in 1880 and worked in Chicago as a staff artist painting formula pictures. Displaying a love for easel painting, he developed his personal style of painting that won him the Second Yerkes prize at the Chicago Society of Artists Exhibition in 1893.
Wendt traveled and painted with his friend George Gardner Symons visting England and California, and later traveled to the East Coast, Germany and France. He married the sculptress Julia Bracken in 1906, he and his bride then made the decision to move to California.
Wendt's earlier works have been termed tranquil and lyrical while his later works show bold and broad brushstrokes with rich greens and browns. He became the first president of the California Art Club in 1911 and exhibited and sold his works successfully for thirty years at major galleries in California, Chicago, Boston and New York. He won numerous awards during his career including the silver medal at the San Francisco Exhibition in San Francisco in 1915.
Highly regarded in California and nationally, he earned the title of "dean of Southern California artists". He died in Laguna Beach, California on December 29, 1946.
The author of this biography is a collector and active buyer of paintings by William Wendt and other early California painters, he can be reached through email, Brentemail@aol.com (Larry)