Ambrose McCarthy Patterson
|Ambrose McCarthy Patterson|
Self-portrait (La Fenêtre de l'atelier) (c. 1902)
29 June 1877|
Daylesford, Victoria, Australia
|Died||26 December 1967
Seattle, Washington, USA
|Known for||Painting and printmaking|
Ambrose McCarthy Patterson (29 June 1877 – 26 December 1967) was a painter and printmaker.
Patterson was born in Daylesford, Victoria. 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 Simon, André Lhote and 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.
After a visit to his homeland in 1909 or 1910, he spent the following seven years in Hawaii. His art was given a solo exhibition at the Honolulu University Club in 1915 and was included in the Hawaiian Society of Artists Annual in 1917. After arriving in San Francisco, California in the summer of 1917 he held a well-received joint exhibition with artist Rinaldo Cuneo at the local Helgesen Gallery.  In October he leased a cottage in the art colony of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California and began to exhibit in local galleries and with the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club. 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.
By September of 1918 Patterson had moved to Seattle to work as a freelance artist, perhaps being the first modern artist in that city, and that fall his art was given a solo show at the Seattle Fine Arts Society, the first of many exhibitions in Washington State. In 1919 he established the University of Washington School of Painting and Design. Patterson married painter and former student Viola Hansen in 1922, and the two became major figures of the arts in the Pacific Northwest region. Patterson taught until his retirement in 1947. He died in Seattle in 1967 leaving behind an impressive record of awards received and exhibitions across the United States, including the: Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Modern Art in New York City, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the World’s Fairs in San Francisco and New York City.
The Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery (Australia) (Canberra), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum are among the public collections holding works by Ambrose McCarthy Patterson.
- Alexander, Jane, Portrait of an Artist: Ambrose Patterson (1877–1996) From the Latin Quarter to the pot pourri of Palamadom, Jimaringle Publications, Melbourne, Australia, 1992.
- Congdon-Martin, Douglas, Aloha Spirit, Hawaiian Art and Popular Design, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA, 1998, p. 179
- Hughes, Glenn (Editor), Hawaii, Twelve Woodcuts by Ambrose Patterson, Seattle, University of Washington Book Store, 1928.
- Knapp, Danielle Marie, Rethinking Ambrose Patterson and Modern Art in Seattle, MA thesis, University of Oregon, June 2010
- McCulloch, Alan Encyclopedia of Australian Art Hutchinson of London 1969
- "American Impressionism and Realism: Virtual tour", Queensland Art Gallery (accessed 20 March 2011)
- Edwards, Robert W. (2012). Jennie V. Cannon: The Untold History of the Carmel and Berkeley Art Colonies, Vol. 1. Oakland, Calif.: East Bay Heritage Project. pp. 184–185, 258, 565, 690. ISBN 9781467545679. An online facsimile of the entire text of Vol. 1 is posted on the Traditional Fine Arts Organization website (http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/10aa/10aa557.htm).
- San Francisco Chronicle: 23 September 1917, p.S-6; 7 October 1917, E-3.
- The Oakland Tribune, 30 September 1917, p. 20.
- Carmel Pine Cone, 20 December 1917, p.1, p. 19.
- The Wasp (San Francisco weekly), 18 May 1918, p. 16.
- San Francisco Chronicle, 4 August 1918, p. E-6.