Claibourne Randolph Tatum

Theme/Style – Figurative art

Media – Oils, murals

Artistic Focus – Little is known about the body of Clay Randy Tatum’s work. He seemed to prefer the figure, painting scenes of sportsmen and workers earlier in life, and portraits later in life.

Career Highlights –

• Born in San Francisco in 1913, Claibourne Randolph Tatum studied at the California School of Fine Arts in the 1930s.
• In 1936, Tatum was a member of Frank Van Sloun’s painting crew for large murals in the rotunda of San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts, and he assisted Diego Rivera on his murals at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939.
• Tatum’s religious beliefs led to his imprisonment for draft evasion at McNeil Island prison in 1945. Six years later, a serious auto accident left him depressed and with stiff hands which made future painting difficult.
• During the 1950s Tatum lived in Marin County, where he made a living doing portrait commissions. He spent his last years in Los Angeles, passing away in 1988.