Ben Messick Biography

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Ben Messick (1901-1981) Born: Strafford, MO; Studied: Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles); Member: California Art Club. Ben Messick was born in the Ozarks and spent his childhood there. When he was sixteen, he joined the armed forces and was sent to the European battle front. After recuperating from his wartime experiences, he moved to Los Angeles and studied with F. Tolles Chamberlin, Clarence Hinkle and Pruett Carter.

By the mid-1930s, he had developed his own style of painting and became known as one of the West Coast’s key Regionalist artists. While Messick was an extremely competent watercolorist, these works were not exhibited frequently and did not receive the attention given to his oils on canvas. During the 1940s and early 1950s, he taught life drawing at the Chouinard Art Institute and the San Diego School of Arts and Crafts. He was also an instructor at the Messick-Hay Studio in Long Beach. In addition, he produced and exhibited lithographic prints.

Biographical information:

Interview with Velma Messick, 1983.

Biography courtesy of California Watercolors 1850-1970,

©2002 Hillcrest Press, Inc.

California Watercolor