Isaacs Art Center

Ambrose Patterson (1877-1966)

Ambrose Patterson (1877-1966)


Patterson was born in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia. He studied at the Melbourne Art School under E. Phillips Fox and Tudor St George Tucker, at the National Gallery Art School in Melbourne and continued his studies in Paris at the Académie Colarossi and the Académie Julian under Lucien SimonAndré Lhoteand Maxime Maufra. In Paris he became a friend of compatriot Nellie Melba, the famous soprano; Patterson's brother, Tom, was married to Melba's sister, Belle. Through Melba's influence, he was able to continue his studies with John Singer Sargent. He became part of the Paris arts scene and exhibited at the first Salon d'Automne exhibitions. He had five paintings at the 1905 Paris Salon at which Henri Matisse and the fauves stunned the art world.

He arrived in Hawaii in 1916 on a stopover from Sidney to New York, and decided to stay with a Parisian friend living in Honolulu. During the next 18 months, Patterson made block prints and paintings with particular interest in Kilauea. His art was included in the Hawaiian Society of Artists Annual in 1917. 

He left for California in 1918 and settled in Seattle. At the 1918 Spring Annual of the San Francisco Art Association (SFAA) his wood block prints were said to be "especially fine in color." That summer his art was given a one-man exhibition at the SFAA galleries and he contributed three color prints (The Steeple Chase, The Bull Fight, and The Long Beach) to the Seventh Annual of the California Society of Etchers.

In Paris he became a friend of compatriot, Nellie Melba, the famous soprano. Through her influence he was able to further study with John Singer Sargent. After a visit to his homeland in 1910, he spent the following seven years in Hawaii. In November 1917 he visited the Monterey Peninsula and was so impressed with its scenic beauty that he rented a house and remained a month to paint. He then settled in Seattle, WA where he taught painting at the University of Washington until 1947. 

Although a resident of Seattle, Patterson made many trips to the San Francisco Bay area to exhibit and participate in the local art scene. 

He died in Seattle in 1966. 

courtesy of wikipedia