Edouard VYSEKAL (1890-1939) ✿

Edouard Vysekal was born in Kutna Hora, Czechoslavakia on March 17, 1890 into a family of artists. He studied at the Industrial and Art Institute of Prague before immigrating to the United States in 1907 with his mother and brother. The family joined his father, an artist-decorator, in Minnesota, where Vysekal continued his formal art training at the St. Paul Art Institute. Between 1909 and 1913, he attended the Art Institute of Chicago and studied under John Vanderpoel, Stanton McDonald-Wright, Harry Walcott, and Morgan Russel. He received much attention as a student, and began teaching at the Art Institute in 1913.
Vysekal met his future wife Luvena Buchanan at AIC. In 1914 the couple left Chicago to execute a mural commission in the Barbara Worth Hotel in El Centro, California. They moved to Los Angeles after the commission, and found the opportunity to grow and achieve artistic independence in their new home. The two married on January 1, 1917.
Vysekal returned to teaching as an instructor at the Art Students League, while continuing to exhibit his work throughout California. His innovative oil and watercolor paintings were admired by contemporaries and critics alike, and he won many awards for his work. He participated in several art associations, including traditional societies like the California Watercolor Society and progressive circles like the Group of Eight. Rather than focusing on plein-air landscape painting, The Group of Eight was a forward-thinking artist collective that sought to illustrate more modern subjects and ideas. Its members included Mabel Alvarez, Clarence Hinkle, Henri De Kruif, John Hubbard Rich, Donna Schuster, Edwin Roscoe Shrader, Vysekal and his wife Luvena.
In 1922, Vysekal became an instructor at the Otis Art Institute and would continue to teach there until the end of his life. He died suddenly on December 2, 1939, at the age of forty-nine. Otis Art Institute director, ER Shrader, remembered his friend and colleague in his eulogy as an influential teacher and painter. Vysekal is known for his bold figure studies, modern landscapes, still life scenes, and human-interest themes.

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