Marion Kavanaugh Wachtel (1875–1954) was a plein air painter in watercolors and oils that lived and worked with her artist husband Elmer Wachtel in the Arroyo Seco near Pasadena, California, in the early 20th century. Her work was valued in her own day, and her works were exhibited across the United States.
Like most of the American Impressionist artists now known as California Impressionists, Wachtel relocated to Southern California after first establishing her career in the eastern US. She trained at the Art Institute of Chicago, and under William Merritt Chase in New York. Later, she taught in public schools and at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1903 she journeyed to California, where she studied under William Keith, and Elmer Wachtel, whom she married in 1904.
She painted primarily landscapes of the dramatic Californian and Southwestern terrain. Her medium of choice was watercolor, but she began painting in oils after her husband’s death.
Wachtel was active in arts organizations, including the California Watercolor Society (founding member), the Academy of Western Painters, the California Art Club, and the Pasadena Society of Artists.
Marion Wachtel’s art