1893 - 1983
art, landscapes, still lifes
Media Oils, murals,
frescos, watercolors, wood carvings, etchings, illustrations
Artistic Focus Paul
A. Schmitt’s works were distinguished by their use of color, not for
its own sake but carefully chosen for its contribution to the scene.
Schmitt himself described his painting as "honest...spiritual work," and
this ideal is borne out in both his watercolors and oils.
Career Highlights –
• Born in Philadelphia in 1893, Paul Anton Schmitt
was the son of world-famous woodcarver Hermann Schmitt, and was painting
watercolors from childhood.
• The Schmitt family first moved to San Francisco, but relocated to the
Oakland area after the 1906 earthquake and fire. Starting in his teenage
years, Schmitt worked as a sign painter and studied at the California
College of Arts and Crafts under Perham Nahl, at the California School
of Fine Arts, the University of California, Berkeley, and also under
• Schmitt exhibited in the Oakland Art League’s first annual at Mills
College in 1928, and again the following year in the company of Otis
Oldfield, John Emmett Gerrity, Burton Boundey, and Lucretia Van Horn.
• By the 1930s Schmitt had established himself as a commercial artist,
while continuing to paint scenes of the area around his Oakland studio/home,
as well as murals in public buildings and churches.
• In 1933, Schmitt was included in the Oakland Art Gallery’s first annual
watercolor exhibition, and went on to win first prize and “Guest
of Honor” awards in its 1935 annual.
• Schmitt also exhibited in the first exhibition of the Bay Region Art
Association’s gallery in Oakland in 1934.
• Schmitt would continue to exhibit at the Oakland Art Gallery throughout
the 1930s and early 1940s, and was one of the founders of the Thirteen
Watercolorists group, exhibiting with them in the late 1930s. He also
exhibited at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939, and in
the 1940s at the San Francisco Museum of Art and the California Palace
of the Legion of Honor.
• In the 1950s and 1960s Schmitt continued to exhibit, and also taught
art in Alameda’s Adult Education School.
• A lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay area, Schmitt passed away
in San Leandro in 1983.
Additional biographical material and full bibliographic
references are available upon request.
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