Paul Detlefsen

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Paul Detlefsen (October 3, 1899 - August 1, 1986)[1] was a commercial artist of the mid to late 20th century, associated with the "Hollywood scene".[2] He is known for his realistic depictions of serene, nostalgic scenes; his works were reproduced in a popular line of calendars and other prints.


Paul Detlefsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark.[1] He was the son of a medical doctor.[citation needed] He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to Hollywood to build his reputation as a cartoonist.[citation needed] After not succeeding as an animator,[citation needed] he produced backdrops for films. He was nominated at the 17th Academy Awards, along with coworkers John Crouse and Nathan Levinson, for their work on the 1944 film The Adventures of Mark Twain.[1][3][4] The only other films Detlefsen is credited for are The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945), Escape in the Desert (1945), and Shadow of a Woman (1946),[1] but he spent 20 years at Warner Brothers Studios, eventually rising to be in charge of the art department that created matte backdrops.[5]

Detlefsen then shifted to a career in calendar artwork. His art was lithographed into calendars, reproductions, playing cards, jigsaw puzzles, mats for tables, and even four-foot wide wall murals.[6] His first calendar, published in 1951, was "The Good Old Days", which focused on landscape art.[2] In 1969, UPI estimated that 80% of all Americans had seen his work.[5]

In 1964, Paul and his wife, Shelly,[citation needed] moved to Encinitas, California where Paul continued painting[citation needed] into the last few months of his life.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Paul Detlefsen on IMDb
  2. ^ a b "Everyday Pictures for Millions". TIME. 1951-12-17.
  3. ^ "The 17th Academy Awards (1945) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2013-06-23.
  4. ^ 17th Academy Award nominees at Classic Film Guide
  5. ^ a b UPI (1969-06-29). "Artist brushing up on future". Rome News-Tribune of Georgia. p. 6-A. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  6. ^ The Homestead Home Decorator Service (1967-03-19). "Two Giant 4 Ft. Full Color Murals (advertisement)". Family Weekly. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. 11. Retrieved 2011-01-27.