Richard L. Nelson was born in 1901 in Georgetown, Texas. He went to high school in Brooklyn and later trained as an engineer at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. He attended the University of Minnesota as a medical student and also worked in Chicago as a draftsman and designer for the Chicago Bureau of Water Works.
From 1927 to 1933 Richard Nelson studied art at the Chicago Art Institute. In 1935 he began to study music and met his wife, Maurine Fay Morse who was also a music student and the two married in 1937.
In 1939 now a professor, Richard Nelson left Chicago for Los Angeles and went to work for the Shell Oil Company as an engineer until 1942. At the age of forty-one he enlisted as a private in the Army Engineer Corps and attained the rank of captain. At the conclusion of the war he decided to remain in Europe to study painting at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.
Returning to the United States in the summer of 1946, Nelson attended Mills College in Oakland, California and studied with Reginald Marsh. Nelson would also attend UC Berkeley earning an A.B. and M.A. While at Berkeley, he studied art with Erle (Earle) Loran, James McCray, Chiura Obata, and Glenn Wessels. From 1948 to 1952, he worked as an instructor at the Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
In 1952, the University of California, Davis recruited professor Davis to establish a new art department at the University. He would start the art department “from the ground up” and at the and would serve as Chairman of the Department of Art at the University.
Richard Nelson died in Davis, California on August 2, 1972.
Exhibitions 1966 The Art Bank of the San Francisco Art Association Art Association 1964 The Art Bank of the San Francisco Art Association Art Association 1963 The Art Bank of the San Francisco Art Association Art Association 1962 The Art Bank of the San Francisco Art Association Art Association 1961 One Man Exhibition, Sacramento 1960 The Art Bank of the San Francisco Art Association Art Association 1959 San Francisco Art Association Annual, San Francisco 1959 SFMOMA 78th Annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, San Francisco Art Association 1959 Kingsley Art Club, Sacramento 1959 Crocker Art Gallery 1959 The Art Bank of the San Francisco Art Association Art Association 1958 Richmond Art Center 1968 The Art Bank of the San Francisco Art Association Art Association 1950 SFMOMA 69th Annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, San Francisco Art Association
Literature: AskART.com Inc. Dunbier, Lonnie Pierson (editor). The Artists Bluebook Landauer, Susan, et al. San Francisco and the Second Wave: The Blair Collection of Bay Area Abstract Expressionism Falk, Peter Hastings (editor). Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975. San Francisco Art Association (Institute) of the Art Bank
Sources: David J. Carlson, Carlson Gallery University of California Faculty Biography www.AskART.com
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