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Trees (Near Gypsy Camp)

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Millard Owen Sheets, American, (1907–1989)
Trees (Near Gypsy Camp), c. 1926
Watercolor on paper
12 5/8 in. x 16 7/8 in. (32.07 cm x 42.86 cm)


Object Type: Painting
Technique: Painting
Creation Place: North America, America, California
Credit Line: Purchase, Scripps Collectors' Circle
Accession Number: 2012.2.17


Commentary
The subject and style suggest that this piece was probably painted near the gypsy camp where Millard Sheets painted several significant works during the mid to the end of the 1920s.

***

Millard Sheets was nineteen when he produced this painting, the same year he enrolled as a member in the California Water Color Society, almost a decade before he began teaching painting at Scripps College. The definition of a prodigy, he perfected his watercolor technique throughout the 1920s. Here, Millard Sheets paints a grove of trees that was near a migrant camp in California. He painted this migrant camp multiple times, often imbuing these works with a magical serenity. His brushwork, in particular the cascading orange leaves in the background, create a dramatic and cutting composition through the canvas that echoes the mythic quality that he provided his other gypsy works. During the 30s, under the New Deal, he turned to work on large-scale murals. His early work, unlike his later murals, celebrates the small, the simple, and the natural.

David Kuhio Ahia, PO ’18
Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Intern

Marks
Signed "Millard Sheets" in pencil, lower right hand corner.

Medium
watercolor and pencil on paper

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