Donna Schuster attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School where she worked with noted American Impressionists Edmund C. Tarbell (1862-1938) and Frank W. Benson (1862-1951). In 1912 she joined William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) on a painting tour of Belgium. After returning to the United States, she moved to Los Angeles. She studied with Chase once more at the Carmel Summer School in 1913.
In 1923 Schuster built a studio-home in the hills of Griffith Park and joined the faculty of Otis Art Institute. She also had a second home and studio in Laguna Beach where she spent her summers. She was a member of the Group of Eight, who considered themselves modernist in their use of rich color, expressive techniques, and an emphasis on the figure. She also was a great admirer of Claude Monet and, in fact, built a lily pond in her backyard that she used for a series of lily pond studies, not unlike those of Monet. Toward the end of the 1920s Schuster studied with modernist artist Stanton Macdonald-Wright (1890-1973), leading her to experiment with Cubism and later, Abstract Expressionism. Schuster was described by her fellow artist Luvena Vysekal as “emitting an effulgence of exuberance that exhausts the onlooker.”
|O’er Waiting Harp Strings
Oil on canvas, 1921
30 x 30 inches
Gift of Catherine Jackson