M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
JOHN WILLIAM HILTON
American / California (1904-1983)
Oil on panel
Signed lower right: John W. Hilton
Housed in the original painted and giltwood panel frame; also inscribed verso
(Together with a photograph of Hilton with James Cagney)
Represented in 6 museums :
including Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe New, Mexico; Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA;
Museum of Texas Tech University; and the San Diego Museum Natural History
The Sonora Desert was the setting for most of John William Hilton's paintings. The works depict the fleeting desert light and atmospheric conditions - often quite delicate. But many painters do that. There is something more hypnotic about Hilton's works - just as there is in the desert itself. His technique employs a combination a beeswax mixture with the oil paints, giving his landscapes an encaustic quality and a luster that enhances the soft colorations. The foreground strokes are often almost three-dimensional, set against a flatly painted background, recreating the dimension of the vast spaces visible at once in the desert. The colors range from "on-fire" to a soft evening glow. The overall effect is one that is hard to take your eyes from.
Hilton led a rich, imaginative and colorful lifetime. Not only did he paint with notables in the art world (as Maynard Dixon, Nicolai Fechin, Jimmy Swinnerton, Orpha Klinker, and Clyde Forsythe), but with friends Dwight Eisenhower and James Cagney. He selected the California site for a base for General George Patton, with whom he also remained friends. Howard Hughes visited him from time to time. Each New Year's Eve, Hilton used to burn his "lesser" paintings in a huge desert bonfire, leaving behind ashes and tequila bottles - the ritual intended to make him strive for "greater" paintings. Hilton's work hangs in 6 museums - and while Eisenhower was President - hung in the Oval Office at the White House.
Image Size : 16” x 20” / Framed : 22.5” X 26.5”
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JOHN WILLIAM HILTON
Twenty-Nine Palms, California, 1904-1983
Birth place: Carrington, ND
Addresses: Lahaina Maui, HI; Twentynine Palms, CA in 1976
Profession: Painter, illustrator
Studied: Maynard Dixon, Clyde Forsythe & Nicolai Fechin; International Institute Arts & Letters fellowship; American Institute Fine Arts fellowship.
Exhibited: Grand Central Galleries, NYC & Desert Southwest Galleries, Palm Desert, CA., 1970s. Hundreds of group & solo shows in US & abroad, 1935-72.
Member: Grand Central Art Gallery; Salmagundi Club; Laguna Beach Art Assn. (life member); Lahaina Art Association; Twenty-nine Palms Artists Guild (president, 1952-55; life member).
Work: US Air Force; Tokyo City Hall; Arizona Botanical Gardens, Phoenix; Museum New Mexico; Desert Southwest Art Gallery, Palm Desert, CA; La Verne College; National Park Visitor Centers; San Diego Museum Natural History; Palm Springs Desert Museum Commissions: murals, Desert Southwest Gallery, 1937 & Saddleback Western Gallery, Santa Ana, CA, 1962; diorama, Living Desert Reserve, Palm Desert, CA, 1972.
Comments: Hilton began painting in the 1930s. Preferred media: oils, wax. Publications: auth./illus., What Makes the Jumping Bean Jump," Saturday Evening Post, 1942; auth./illus., Sonora Sketchbook, Macmillan, 1947; "This Is My Desert," Arizona Highways, 1964; "Hilton Paints the Desert," Desert Magazine; plus many articles.
Sources: WW73; Dave Packwood," An Artist Looks at Baja California," Westways (March, 1956); Mason Sutherland, "California Escape to the Desert," National Geographic, 1957; Ed. Ainsworth, Painters of the Desert (Desert Mag., Publisher, 1960). "
Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art, Boulder, Colorado
Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe New, Mexico
Desert Southwest Art Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA
Museum of Texas Tech University
San Diego Museum Natural History
Fillmore, Gary Canyon, Magic Landmark Art from the Picerne Collection
Davenport, Ray, Davenport’s Art Reference
Dunbier, The Artists Bluebook
Hughes, Artists in California: 1786-1940
Hughes, Edan Milton, 2002Edition Artists in California
Falk, Peter Hastings, Who Was Who in American AR6t, 1564-1975
Stragnell, Landscapes of the West
McCall, California Artists 1935-1956
Karpel, Arts in America/A Bibliography
Ainsworth, The Man Who Captured Sunshine
Jacques Cattell Press, Who's Who in American Art
Samuels, Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
New Mexico, Museum of Fine Art, Handbook of the Collections, Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Texas Tech University, Selections from the Collection , Mr. & Mrs. Fred T Hogan
Hilton John William, Hilton Paints the Desert
Barrie, Grand Central Art Galleries, Inc., 1971 Year Book
Desert Art Center, Inc., Treasury of Living Art
Barrie, Grand Central Art Galleries, 1965 Year Book
Ainsworth, Ed, Painters of the Desert
Ainsworth, Ed, Widening Horizons
Western Woman, Widening Horizons, Painters of the Western Desert
Hilton, John William, Sonora Sketch Book
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