Edward Reep Biography
Edward Reep (1918- 2013) Born: Brooklyn, NY; Studied: Art Center School (Los Angeles); Member: American Watercolor Society, California Water Color Society. Edward Reep grew up in Southern California. He became interested in watercolor painting while studying with Stanley Reckless and received further instruction from Barse Miller. During World War II, he became a combat artist for the United States Army and was sent to Italy. With the war going on all around him, Reep managed to paint depictions of what was happening. These watercolor and gouache works became property of the War Department at the Pentagon. Additional war-time works produced after 1945 are in various museums including the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.
As a result of his outstanding contributions to war art, Reep was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to help finance his pursuit of art. From 1947 to 1950, he painted, exhibited and taught art at the Art Center School. In the 1950s, he worked with one of his former teachers, Emil Bisttram, at the Bisttram School of Art. He also began a nineteen year job as an art instructor for the Chouinard Art Institute during this era.
Although he has never restricted himself to any one medium, Reep has often painted with watercolors throughout his career. His works from the late 1930s are classic California Style regional watercolors. By the 1950s, he was working in the more modern abstract style for which he received several important awards and some national exposure. Since that time, he has continued to develop his personal style of art. He was hired as chairman of the art department and honored as Artist in Residence at East Carolina University and has authored two books: The Content of Watercolor and A Combat Artist in World War II.
Interview with Ed Reep, 1983.
Biography courtesy of California Watercolors 1850-1970,
©2002 Hillcrest Press, Inc.
The following information was provided by Mr. Reep's daughter Susan Reep.
Born 10 May 1918, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Resided in Southern California 1921-1970
Greenville, NC 1970-1985
Bakersfield, CA 1985-2013
Married Karen Patricia Stevens 8 December 1942
Children Susan Kay, Cristine Elyse, Janine J., Mitchell Jules
Volunteered as private, US Infantry, 11 July 1941
Honorable Discharge, Captain, C.E. 14 February 1946
Two battlefield promotions; Bronze Star Medal
Official WWII War Artist overseas correspondent Africa and Italy
Huntington Park High School, graduated 1936
Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, CA 1936-1941 incl.
(Certificate- five years – no degrees conferred at the time)
1947-50 - The Art Center College of Design, painting and drawing,
1950-51 - Bisttram School of Fine Arts, painting and drawing
1950-51 - Summers. Coronado School of Fine Arts, painting
1950-66 - Chouinard Art Institute, painting and drawing
1957-66 - Chouinard Art Institute, Chairman, painting department
1950-70 - California State University at Northridge, painting honors program for gifted high school students (summers only)
1966-69 - California Institute of the Arts, Chairman, Foundation Department
1970 - Southern Illinois University, visiting artist
1970-85 - East Carolina University, professor and artist-in-residence; acting department chair 1978. East Carolina University, Retired 1985 as Professor Emeritus
1933 - Owens-Illinois Glass Company, graphic artist
1937 - Columbia Broadcasting Company, graphic artist
1930s - Breeden Tools, catalog designer
1942 - Soldier’s Club, Monterey CA. Designed and executed two 8-foot square and one 8x24 ft. mural
1943 - Psychological Warfare Branch U.S. Army, North Africa, graphic artist
1943-45 - War artist-correspondent/photographer, U.S. Army, North Africa and Italy
1945 - Designed and supervised production of nine-volume History of the Fifth Army
1945-46 - Guggenheim Fellowship for creative painting
1946 - Raymond Loewy, renderings for Matson Lines
1947 - Selznick International Pictures, sketch artist and illustrator
1948 - 20th Century Fox, set designer
1950s - Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborne Inc., designer
1953 - Brentwood Pools, swimming pool designer
1953 - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Film Studio, scenic artist
1953 - Henry Dreyfuss Inc., color styling and rendering for Columbine III, President Eisenhower’s plane
1953 - City of Los Angeles, Art Coordinator, Seven City Parks Exhibition
1956 - LIFE Magazine, world-wide assignment painting impressions of international airports, 10 full-color pages reproduced in magazine
1957 - LIFE Magazine, court artist, Confidential trial
1957-58 - National Watercolor Society President; Member of board for four years
1958 - LIFE Magazine, court artist, Lana Turner-Cheryl Crane murder trial
1968 - Victor Gruen Associates, color styling and renderings for Cabrillo Marina
1968-74 - Van Nostrand Reinhold Publishing Company, consultant editor
1969 - Motorcross Speedway, design and architecture
1970 - U.S. Army, special commission to West Germany to paint impressions of 10th anniversary of Berlin Wall
1970 - Gateco Corporation, Irvine Industrial Park CA, design and execute 20’x40’ exterior mural
1975 - Yale University Press, book review for Josef Albers’ The Interaction of Color
1986-93 - Bakersfield Museum of Art, Board of Directors
Throughout above years executed painting commissions for Ford Times and Continental Magazines. Several of the Ford Times watercolors now reside in the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.
Reep, Edward. The Content of Watercolor. New York. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. 1969. Hardcover.
Reep, Edward. The Content of Watercolor. Revised Edition. New York. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. 1983. Paperback.
Reep, Edward. A Combat Artist in World War Two. Kentucky. The University Press of Kentucky. 1987. Hardcover.
Anderson, Susan M. and Henning, Robert Jr. (curators). Regionalism: The California View. Watercolors 1929-1945. Santa Barbara Museum of Art. University of Washington Press. 1988, p.80
Chenoweth, Col. H. Avery, USMCR (Ret.), Art of War: Eyewitness U.S. Combat Art from the Revolution through the Twentieth Century. New York. Michael Friedman, Inc. 2003, pp. 11, 26, 137-141, 148,
Dustin, Nancy and Moure, Wall. California Art: 450 Years of Painting and Other Media. Los Angeles.
Goldsmith, Lawrence G. Watercolor Bold & Free. New York. Watson-Guptill. 1980, pp. 22, 29, 46.
Henkes, Robert. Themes in American Painting: A Reference Work to Common Styles and Genres. North
Henkes, Robert. World War II in American Art. North Carolina. McFarland & Company, Inc. 2001, pp. 50-51, 63-64, 70-73, 82-83, 109, 111-113, 116-117, 121-123, 130, 132, 135, 141-144, 146, C-7.
Jones, James. WWII. New York. Ballantine Books. 1975, p. 126.
Kent, Norman (edited). Seascapes and Landscapes in Watercolor. New York. Watson-Guptill. 1956, pp. 115-120.
Lanker, Brian and Newnham, Nicole. They Drew Fire: Combat Artists of World War II. New York. TV Books LLC. 2000, pp. 8-19, 179.
Last, Jay T. and McClelland, Gordon T. The California Style: California Watercolor Artists 1925-1955. Beverly Hills. Hillcrest. 1985, pp. 164-165.
Last, Jay T. and McClelland, Gordon T. California Watercolors 1850-1970: An Illustrated History and Biography. Beverly Hills. Hillcrest. 2002. Pp. 50, 54, 55, 64, 68, 71, 79, 147, 184, 185, 203.
Livengood, Roy. Thunder in the Apennines: The Story of the 361st Infantry in Italy. U.S. 361st Infantry
Livesay, Nancy and Perine, Robert (curators). The California Romantics: Harbingers of Watercolorism.
Lovoos, Janice and Mugnaini, Joseph. DRAWING: A Search for Form. New York. Reinhold Publishing
Mugnaini, Joseph. Expressive Drawing: A Schematic Approach. Massachusetts. Davis, Inc. 1988, pp. 53, 66, 170.
Mugnaini, Joseph. Oil Painting: Techniques and Materials. New York. Van Nostrand Reinhold. 1969, pp. 112-114.
Nichols, Tom and Schlemm, Betty Lou (selected). The Best of Watercolor. Massachusetts. Rockport. 1995, p. 20.
Piersol, Edna. Living by Your Brush Alone. Ohio. North Light Publishers. 1983. Pp. 104-107.
Pitz, Henry C. How to Use the Figure in Painting and Illustration. New York. Watson-Guptill. 1965, p. 6.
Porter, Albert W. Expressive Watercolor Techniques. Massachusetts. Davis, Inc. 1982, pp. 67, 78.
Porter, Albert W. The Art of Sketching. Massachusetts. Davis, Inc. 1977, pp. 42, 126-127.
Schaad, Bentley. The Realm of Contemporary Still Life Painting. New York. Reinhold. 1962, pp. 25, 67, 70.
Schink, Christopher. Color and Light for the Watercolor Painter: How to get the Effects You Want Every New York. Watson-Guptill. 1995, pp. 137, 143.
Schneider, Frederick (designer). Creative Inspirations: A Collection of Drawing and Painting Ideas for
Artists. Massachusetts. Rockport, Inc. 1997, p. 13.
Sullivan, Gen. Gordon R. (Editor), Portrait of an Army. Washington D.C. U.S. Government Printing Office.
Sullivan, Gen. Gordon R. (Editor). Soldiers Serving the Nation. Washington D.C. U.S. Government Printing
Truscott, Lt. Gen. L.K., Forward. 19 Days from the Apennines to the Alps. Italy. Pizzi and Pizio. 1945.
Zellers, Larry. In Enemy Hands: A Prisoner in North Korea. Kentucky. The University Press of Kentucky. 1991, Cover.
The Content of Watercolor, dir. Robert Rasch, featuring Edward Reep, 1976. Film.
They Drew Fire, dir. Brian Lanker. PBS. 2000. DVD.
“Added Attraction.” Newsweek. 16 October 1944. 82. Print.
“Artists At War.” M The Civilized Man. March 1985. 84. Print.
Hanson, Christopher. “Drawing Flak.” Archives of American Art. 2008, pp. 62-63. Print. Online.
“Footnotes.” American Artist. September 1954. 8. Print.
“LIFE’s Art Competition for Men in the Armed Forces.” LIFE. 6 July 1942, pp. 30-36. Print.
Livengood, Roy. “A Combat Artist in World War Two.” The Powder River Journal. Dec. 1987. Pp. 31-35.
Livengood, Roy. “Thunder in the Apennines Update.” The Powder River Journal. Dec. 1982, p. 16. Print.
Marsh, Melissa Amateis. “Armed with a Paintbrush.” America in WWII. August 2012, pp. 14-23. Print.
Miller, Arthur. “Art of our City.” Los Angeles. December 1962, p. 57. Print.
The New East: The Family Magazine of North Carolina. Summer 1976. Cover, p. 2. Print.
“New Gateways to the Wide World, Painted and Drawn for LIFE by Edward Reep.” LIFE. 18 June 1956. 86-95. Print.
Nutting, Myron. “Art.” Script. June 1947. 44. Print.
Pitz, Henry C. “Pen Drawings by Painters.” American Artist. March 1947. 26-29. Print.
Powder River Journal. June 1984. p. 29. Print.
Rebel. East Carolina University. March 1975. Cover. Print.
“Reviews.” Art Forum. 1964. 16-17. Print.
Reep, Edward. “The Past Reflected in the Present.” Watercolor: An American Artist Publication. Summer
Milady of California. August 1947. 59. Print.
“U.S. Around the World.” Fortune. July 1944. 121-131. Print.
“U.S. Government War Art.” LIFE. 6 April 1942. 58-60. Print.
“The Watercolor Series.” American Artist. April 1952. 50-51. Print.
Weigel, John. “What I Look for in a Painting for the Ford Times.” Famous Artists Magazine. Spring 1963. 10-11. Print.
Wheeler, J.M. “In the California Style.” Panache Magazine. Nov. 1989. 30-31. Print.
1946-47 - Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Painting
1974 - nominated American Academy of Arts and Letters Art Awards
1975 - Grant National Endowment Fund, North Carolina Foundation of the Arts
1980 - Invited Phi Kappa Phi Honor Symposium Award for 4,000 word paper “Quality in Higher Education” to National Art Symposium University of Illinois, Urbana.
1997 - Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award Gold Medal, Watercolor USA Honor Society (to date only such award conferred)
Lifetime Achievement Award National Watercolor Society, painting added to Permanent Collection
Who’s Who in America (41st Edition)
Who’s Who in the World (6th Edition)
Who’s Who in American Art
Who’s Who in the West
Who’s Who in the Southeast
Outstanding Educators of America
Dictionary of International Biography
Contemporary Authors, The Book Tower
Personalities of the South, American Biographical Institute
PAINTING AWARDS (SELECTED)
1941 - Purchase Prize, WPA National Competition
1942 - OEM National Competition
1942 - Fourth Prize, LIFE Magazine National All-Service Competition
1942 - First Prize, Carmel Art Association Service Competition
1946 - First Prize, American Contemporary Gallery Competition
1947 - First Prize, (Lawson Award) San Diego Museum 32nd Annual
1948 - First Purchase Prize (lithography), California State Fair Art Exhibition
1948 - Honorable Mention (lithography), California State Fair Art Exhibition
1949 - Honorable Mention (oil), California State Fair Art Exhibition
1949 - Second Prize, Coronado International Art Exhibition
1950 - First Purchase Prize, Carlsbad-Oceanside Competition
1951 - First Purchase Prize (oil), 18th Annual International Flower Show Art Competition
1951 - First Purchase Prize (oil), Los Angeles County Museum
1951 - First Purchase Prize (watercolor), Los Angeles County Museum Annual
1952 - First Purchase Prize, Gardena 25th Annual
1954 - Honorable Mention, Oakland Museum Annual
1955 - Honorable Mention, Newport Annuals
1955 - Award, National Watercolor Society
1955 - Award, South Bay Art Association Invitational
1955 - First Purchase Award, Sierra Madre Invitational
1957 - Honorable Mention, Newport Annual
1960 - Prize, All-California Invitational
1961 - Honorable Mention, Frye Museum, Seattle
1963 - First Prize (oil), Los Angeles All-City Annual
1964 - Purchase Award (drawing), San Marino Drawing Invitational
1981 - Purchase Award, East Carolina University National Exhibition
EXHIBITED BY INVITATION (SELECTED)
Three Whitney Annuals
National Academy of Design
National Gallery of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
SOLO EXHIBITIONS (SELECTED)
1944 - Cecina, Italy, paintings and drawings
1946 - Hollywood CA, American Contemporary Gallery, paintings and drawings
1950 - Los Angeles CA, Bisttram School of Fine Arts, watercolors
1950 - Coronado CA, Coronado School of Fine Arts, paintings and lithographs
1951 - San Diego CA, San Diego Fine Arts Museum, oils, watercolors, lithographs, and drawings
1951 - Fresno CA, Fresno State College, watercolors
1954 - Pasadena CA, Pasadena Museum of Art, watercolors
1955 - Whittier CA, Whittier Art Association, watercolors
1957 - Santa Maria CA, Santa Maria Jr. College
1958 - Los Angeles CA, Chouinard Art Institute, paintings and drawings
1958 - Los Angesles CA, Simone Gallery, watercolors, watercolors on cloth, oils
1958 - Santa Monica CA, Santa Monica Municipal Art Gallery, oils, watercolors, watercolors on cloth
1960 - Los Angeles CA, Paul Rivas Gallery, oils
1962 - Los Angeles CA, Paul Rivas Gallery, oils
1964 - Los Angeles CA, Paul Rivas Gallery, oils
1965 - Long Beach CA, Long Beach Museum 10 Year Retrospective
1973 - Raleigh, NC, Garden Gallery
1975 - Charlotte NC, Mint Museum
1976 - Greenville NC, Greenville Art Center, 5 Year Retrospective
1978 - Roanoke VA, Yeatts Gallery
1980 - Greenville NC, Gray Galleries East Carolina University, 73 paintings
1982 - Birmingham AL, Side-Show Gallery
1985 - Greenville NC, East Carolina University, 60 Images 1980-85
1987 - Bakersfield CA, Cunningham Art Gallery
1989 - Bakersfield CA, Clark Galleries
1972-74 - Twenty images on tour of galleries and museums in America
2001 - Bakersfield CA, Jill Thayer Galleries at the Fox, watercolors
TWO TO FIVE PERSON EXHIBITIONS (SELECTED)
1948 - Los Angeles Art Association Four-person show
1950 - University of Southern California Five-person show
1951 - Los Angeles County Museum Four-person show
1957 - Sierra Madre Museum Five-person show
1968 - Downey Museum Four-person show
1970 - East Carolina University Two-person show
1971 - Louisburg College NC Two-person show
1980 - Somerhill Galleries, Chapel Hill NC Four-person show
Pennsylvania Academy, San Francisco Museum, St. Louis Art Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Baltimore Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco World’s Fair International Exposition, Pennsylvania State Museum, University of California Los Angeles, University of Syracuse Museum, Library of Congress, Decatur Museum, Allen Memorial Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Cornell University, College of William and Mary, Springfield Museum of Art (Watercolor USA), University of No. Arizona, Parkland College IL (State of the Art in Watercolor), MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York.
National Watercolor Society – five years
California State Fair Art Exhibit
Los Angeles County Art Exhibition
Watercolor USA, MO
Pittsburg Watercolor Open Exhibition
Indiana State Fair Art Exhibit
South Carolina Watercolor Open Exhibition
Oklahoma National Watercolor Exhibition
Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition, etc.
Watercolor USA Honor Society (Lifetime Achievement Award)
National Watercolor Society (Life member, past president)
American Watercolor Society
American Association of University Professors
Honorary Life Member of California Parent Teachers Association
National Museum of American Art (National Gallery/Smithsonian Institution), six works
Los Angeles County Museum
State of California
United States Military History Archives/Museum, 66 paintings and drawings
University of California at Los Angeles
Grunwald Graphic Arts
Cole of California
Bart Lytton, Los Angeles
Buck Collection, Irvine, CA
LIFE Magazine War Art
City of Oxnard, CA
City of Carlsbad-Oceanside, CA
Gardena, CA High School
Artists Group of America, New York
Craven Institute, North Carolina
Greenville Art Museum, North Carolina
Louisburg College, North Carolina
North Carolina National Bank (10 works)
Consolidated University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Music Corporation of America
Blue Cross of North Carolina
State of North Carolina
East Carolina University School of Medicine
East Carolina University
Branch Banking and Trust, North Carolina
Numerous private collections such as Julian sieroty, George Schrieber, Mitzi Hughes, John Eyres, George Fenneman, Herbert Wylie, and others.
1951 - Los Angeles County Museum of Art
1952 - Pacific Arts Association, University of California at Los Angeles
1954 - Fine Arts Conference, Idyllwild
1957 - National Art Educators Association National Conference
1969 - Southern Illinois University
1978 - The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
1978 - National Association of Needlework Retailers, Chicago
1988 - California State University, Bakersfield
1992 - Mississippi State University
1992 - East Carolina University
1994 - Sun Cities Museum of Art, AZ
View THE CONTENT OF WATERCOLOR video by Edward Reep.