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Artist Profile

William Wendt

1865-1946

William Wendt was one of the most important artists to live and work in Laguna Beach. Born in Germany, he immigrated to the United States in 1880, settling in Chicago. He and his wife, sculptor Julia Bracken, moved to Los Angeles in 1906 and built a studio-home in Laguna in 1918. His vision, style, and expression—a rigorous and disciplined mix of academicism and impressionism—would change little during his California years. Indeed, it was the combination of his consistency, confidence, experience, and impressive painting skills that almost instantly made Wendt the leader of Southern California’s emerging visual arts culture. From the outset, his authoritative landscape paintings—vistas that all Southern Californians knew—celebrated clarity and solidity, cleanliness and truth.

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Work

Works in Our Collection

William Wendt
Untitled landscape
Oil on canvas, 1933
16 x 20 inches
Gift of Robert and Shirley Foster from the Estate of Janet W. Wood
2012.007

William Wendt
Spring in the Canyon
Oil on canvas, 1926
25 x 30 inches
Gift of Mrs. W. A. Griffith
1930.005

William Wendt
Landscape
Oil on canvas, 1912
18 x 30 inches
Gift of Nancy D. W. Moure and Joseph L. Moure
1980.125

William Wendt
Laguna Coast
Oil on canvas, 1930
30 x 36 inches
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Stiles, II
2015.013