Richard Haines Biography

Mrs. Whistler's Naked Niece, 1972

32 x 24 inches  |  oil on canvas

Always influenced by his Midwestern roots, Charles Richard Haines was born in Marion, Iowa on December 29, 1906, the eldest son of Fred C. Haines (1885-1949) and Hattie Mae Carver (1884-1952). After growing up on an Iowa farm he worked for several years as a designer for a greeting card company and subsequently Brown and Begelow, a calendar firm. He went on to study at the Minneapolis School of Art, where he would later teach. While teaching at the Minneapolis School of Art he became interested in mural painting. In 1933 he won the Vanderlip Traveling Scholarship to the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Fontainebleau, France.

Shortly after his return to the United States he became involved in New Deal art projects, winning nine mural commissions, primarily for U.S. Post Offices from the Treasury Department's Section of Painting and Sculpture between 1935 and 1941. In the 1938 he met and married interior decorator Leonora 'Nona' D. Stevens (1911-1989?) from Minneapolis, MN.

The artist and his wife moved to Los Angeles in 1941 where Haines worked for Douglas Aircraft during the war. He went on to teach at the Chouinard Art Institute from 1945-1954. In 1952 he was among nine artists selected to paint murals for the renowned Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. From 1954-1974 he was the head of the painting department at Otis Art Institute. As a painter and watercolorist Haines was prolific and successful. From the late 1940's' through the early 1960's Haines enjoyed representation by one of the West Coast's finest galleries, Dalzell Hatfield. He worked non-stop until his death in Los Angeles on October 9, 1984. Haines suffered no diminution in his skills, producing many of his finest paintings in his last years.

Videos

3:00 | Narrated by Nathan Vonk | Released for RICHARD HAINES: Midcentury Master, 2014

3:23 | Narrated by Jeremy Tessmer | Released for RICHARD HAINES: Subdividing the Space, 2011

5:33 | Narrated by Jeremy Tessmer | Released for RICHARD HAINES: Endurance, 2009

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AN ANALYSIS OF THE ARTIST'S WORK

Haines was a comprehensive working artist. His ouevre includes murals, sculptures, paintings, watercolors and prints. Although he began his work in the Midwest, the principal body of his work was completed after his move to Los Angeles in 1941.

The artist developed a distinctive style of representation which was at first influenced by cubist and abstracted geometric work. In midcareer his work evolved and included elements of post-surrealism and his own symbolism. Although some of his paintings are composed of many broken planes of color, others, especially some of his figurative works, are marked by simplicity, what his dealer Dalzell Hatfield, called "a meandering silence, a pause in time, a captive moment, all of which tend to reveal the spiritual values of humanity while depicting its physical form." His maturation, involving these aesthetic influences is in part it is what made the artist a sensational muralist.

The sense that his work was "constructed" may, in part, have come from the manner in which Haines worked. In The California Style, Gordon McClelland writes of the artist that "his approach to watercolor painting was different from most of his peers" Typically he would work on location, producing dozens of ink and wash sketches of a single subject, then return to his studio where he composed the painting form a combination of these sketches. He sometimes added other materials to his watercolor paintings and employed wax crayons, ink, charcoal, or scrubbing or scratching techniques to achieve desired effects and textures.

Line is an essential element of many of Haines paintings. In an interview published in American Artist in April of 1963 Haines talked about his reliance on line.

"Sometimes I sketch to stir up ideas, just to get going, but I like to improvise on the canvas rather than follow a sketch too closely. I'm reluctant to do detailed sketches because when I do, I tighten up."

Despite his remarks about sketching, Haines left behind some evidence to the contrary: a wonderful stack of small, prepatory "painted sketches" and a remarkable cache of figurative cutouts. In his studio were nearly 150 painted sketches and several dozen paper cutouts. These extant silhouettes are figures in different attitudes, identical to figures in his paintings. According to family members the artist would use heavy a construction paper and sketch out figures in different positions. Sometimes the figures were used to block out basic compositional shapes on already existing canvases, in today's language another "iteration" for his painting. At other times these cutouts were painted with gesso and a completed figure was painted on the paper media. Presumably this was done to try out different poses, gestures, heights, values, etc. This legacy of painted sketches and cutouts substantiate that the artist worked exactingly to achieve the completed painting or mural.

 

AWARDS

1954  Prize, Artists of Los Angeles & Vicinity, L.A., CA

1950  1st Award in Watercolor, Walnut Creed Art Show, Walnut Creek, CA

1950  3rd Award, Corcoran Biennial, Corcoran Gallery, Wash., DC

1949  Art Association Prize, San Francisco Museum 

1949  2nd Award, Purchase Prize, L.A. Centennial, L.A. County Museum

1949  2nd Award, California State Fair

1948  1st Prize in Lithography, 33rd Annual Society of Etchers, Engravers & Lithographers, New York

1948  1st Award, Purchase Prize, California State Fair

1948  Artists Council Prize (Lithograph), San Francisco Museum

1948  1st Award, Purchase Prize, California State Fair

1947  Honorable Mention, Denver Museum of Art

1947  3rd Award, Oakland Museum Annual Exhibition

1945  3rd Award, Los Angeles Museum, Exhibition by Artists of L.A. & Vicinity

1944  1st Award, Los Angeles Museum, Exhibition. by Artists of L.A. & Vicinity

1933 - 1934  Vanderlip Traveling Scholarship, Ecole des Beaux Art

 

COLLECTIONS

Arizona State College, Tempe, AZ
Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, TX
California Watercolor Society, Los Angeles, CA
Chouinard Foundation Permanent Coll., South Pasadena, CA
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
E. Gene Crain Collection, Newport Beach, CA
Encyclopedia Britannica Collection, Chicago, IL
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
Lessing J. Rosenwald Drawing Collection, Philadelphia, PA
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Los Angeles County Fair Permanent Collection, Pomona, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Meadows Museum, Dallas, TX
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Minnesota Historical Society (Lithographs), St. Paul, MN
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, KS
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
Seattle Museum of Art, Seattle, WA
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
University of Utah, Logan, UT
Virginia Steele Scott Collection, Pasadena, CA
The West Collection, St. Paul, MN
United States Navy Permanent Collection, Washington, DC
University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
University of Utah, Logan, UT
William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City, KS

 

MURALS

California Bank Building, Board of Directors Room, Los Angeles, CA
Celebration of Our Homeland, Los Angeles Federal Building, Los Angeles, CA (1964)
District Court House, Anchorage, AK
Kachina Mosaic, Goldwater Building, Scottsdale, AZ
Mayo Clinic, Diagnostic Building, Rochester, MN
M.M.M. Research Center, St. Paul, MN
Post Office, Cresco, IA
Post Office, Shelton, WA
Post Office, Wichita, KS
Rincon Annex, San Francisco, CA
Science & Humanities, Montebello Regional Library, Montebello, CA (1966)
South High School, Minneapolis, MN
University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, KY
Untitled, Abstract Geometric, Welton Becket Building, Los Angeles, CA (1958)
Untitled, Schoenberg Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (1961)
Untitled, Symbol of the Sciences, Knudson Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, (1963)
Untitled, Temple Beth Hillel, North Hollywood, CA, (1966)
West High School, Denver, CO
Willmar City Armory, Willmar, MN
WPA Murals, Fort Snelling Round Tower Museum, Fort Snelling, MN
WPA Murals, Post Office, Berwyn, IL
WPA Murals, Post Office, Clinton, MO
WPA Murals, Post Office, Hastings, MN
WPA Murals, Sebeka High School, Sebeka, MN

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Hughes, Edan Milton. Artists in California, 1786-1940, p. 473. San Fran.: Hughes Pub., 1989.
2. U.S. Census, Birth Date, Marriage Dates, Children, Death Date. Accessed through RootsWeb.com
3. Art in Federal Buildings - Vol. 1: Mural Designs, 1934-1936; Bruce & Watson;
Art in Federal Buildings, Inc.; Wash., DC; 1936
4. Painting in the United States, 1949; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, 1949
5. American Painting Today; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, NY; 1950
6. American Paintings Today; Pousette-Dart, Nathaniel; Hastings House Publishers, NY 1956
7. The Realm of Contemporary Still Life Painting; Schaad, Bentley; Reinhold Pub., NY, 1962
8. Prints by California Artists; Crest of Hollywood-Fine Art Publishers, Los Angeles
9. Lovoos, Janice American Artist, Richard Haines, Painter April, 1963 (Vol. 27 # 4; pp. 50-57)
10. Prize Winning Oil Paintings; Allied Publications; 1964
11. Art In Architecture; Redstone, Louis; McGraw-Hill, NY
12. Arts and Architecture, March 1945
13. California Centennials Exhibition of Art, LA County Museum of Art, 1949
14. Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture, Univ. of Illinois, 1950, 1951, 1961
15. American Art - Handbook of American Painting and Sculpture; Dallas Museum of Art; TX; 1952
16. Pacific Coast Art III Biennial of Sao Paulo; San Francisco Museum of Art, SF, CA 1956
17. Artists of Los Angeles and Vicinity, LA County Museum of Art, 1956
18. California Painters (40 Painters); San Francisco Museum of Art; 1956
19. Arts of Southern California in Painting; Long Beach Museum of Art; 1958
20. Faculty Exhibit, LA County Art Institute, 1959
21. Art-California State Fair and Exhibition; 1959
22. Modern French and Modern American Aubusson Tapestries, Dalzell Hatfield Gallery, 1961
23. Contemporary Tapestries, Otis Art Institute, 1961
24. Marine Paintings, Long Beach Museum of Art, 1965
25. California White Paper Painters, 1930's-1970's, California State Fullerton, 1976
26. Virginia Steele Scott Collection of Art; Knoll House Gallery; 1976 and later edition 1980
27. Southern California 100, Laguna Beach Museum of Art, 1977
28. Southern California Artists 1890-1940; Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach, CA; 1979
29. American Bar Association Journal, October 1983 (Volume 69) pp. 1446-48
30. Art and the Law, West Publishing Co. 1983, 1984
31. Park, Marlene and Gerald Markowitz, Democratic Vistas, Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1984, pp. 96, 141, 147, 207, 210-211, 215-216, 232.
32. The West Collection; West Publishing; St. Paul, MN.; 1986
33. Who's Who In American Art1936-1966
34. Who's Who In the West
35. American Water Color Drawing and Prints; Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA; 1952
36. Perine, Rober, Chouinard: An Art Vision Betrayed; Artra Pub. Co.; 1985
37. Haines Family Archives,
38. Archives retrieved by Alan Adler and passed on to Sullivan Goss in the Spring of 2004. Marvelous clipping file, some Haines biographical information, etc.

EXHIBITIONS

1985 Southern California Contemporary Art Galleries, Los Angeles, CA

1978-79 Abraxas Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

1977, 1979, 1982, 2005 Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA

1967-77 Adele Bednarz Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1966 Ventura County Forum of Arts, Ventura, CA

1964 Laguna Beach Art Gallery, Laguna Beach CA

1964 Frye Museum, Seattle, WA

1963 Roberts Art Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

1960 Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, CA

1959 Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

1944-56, 1959-60 Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

1956 Los Angeles City Annual, Los Angeles, CA

1956 Scripps College Art Galleries, La Jolla, CA

1956, 1961 The Santa Monica Art Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

1955 São Paulo Museum of Art, São Paulo, Brazil

1954 National Orange Show, San Bernardino, CA

1954 Carnegie Institute, Pittsburg, PA

1949, 1951 Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

1950-1952 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

1950, 1951, 1960 University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL

1948-1955 California Watercolor Society

1948, 1951 California State Fair, Pomona, CA

1948 San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA

1948, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964 Dalzell Hatfield Galleries, Los Angeles, CA

1947 Oakland Art Museum, Oakland, CA

1947, 1949, 1951 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

1944 American Contemporary Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
 

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