Arthur Atkins (painter)

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Arthur Atkins (1873, Queens Ferry, England - 1899, Piedmont, California)[1] was a tonalist landscape painter.[2] He emigrated to San Francisco at the age of 19. He was essentially self-taught, but studied briefly at the San Francisco School of Design.[1] His paintings were shown at the Vickery, Atkins & Torrey gallery and at his Jackson Street studio, both in San Francisco, and his paintings sold well. His brother, Henry Atkins and his uncle, William Kingston Vickery were co-founders of the Vickery, Atkins & Torrey art gallery.

Between 1897 and August 1898, Atkins visited England and France and studied art in Paris. He was mostly influenced by the paintings of Édouard Manet and James McNeill Whistler while in Europe.

Atkins' favorite landscape subject were the rolling hills near Piedmont, across the bay from San Francisco. Atkins' works are very rare due to a fire at his San Francisco studio in the 1890s and further losses in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.[1]

A book of Atkins' notes and letters, from his visit to Europe, by A. M. Robertson and Bruce Porter, was published in 1908.[3]


  • Piedmont Valley (1895)
  • Piedmont Hills (1896)
  • Landscape (1896)
  • Piedmont (1896)
  • Pines: St. Hospice (1897)
  • The Marne: Charenton (1898)
  • The Basin: St. Cloud (1898)
  • Charenton (1898)
  • Penarth Pier (1898)


  1. ^ a b c Arthur Atkins (1873-1899). Accessed 06 December 2018.
  2. ^ Arthur Atkins.
  3. ^ Porter, B. & A.M Robertson. 1908. Arthur Atkins: Extracts from the letters; with notes on painting and landscape; written during the period of his work as a painter in the last two years of his life, 1896-1898. San Francisco: A.M. Robertson. (Full text at Internet Archive)

Further reading[edit]

  • California Art Research, Vol V (1937), Work Projects Administration
  • The Letters of Arthur Atkins (1908), A. M. Robertson and Bruce Porter
  • Art in California (1916), Bruce Porter, Porter Garnett, et al.
  • Artists of the American West, Vol III (1985), Doris Ostrander Dawdy
  • Artists in California 1786 - 1940 (1989), Edan Milton Hughes