Millard Owen Sheets (1907 - 1989)


Millard Sheets grew up in California in the Pomona Valley east of Los Angeles and by the age of 19 he was an elected member of the California Watercolor Society. At age 20, he was still a student at the Chouinard Art Institute when the school asked him to teach their watercolor class while he was completing his other studies. By the 1930s Mr. Sheets was exhibiting and selling work at major cities across the US. and Europe. His sales enabled him to travel and paint on location in the US and abroad. When the Great Depression hit he worked for the Public Works of Art Project (P.W.A.P.) hiring artists to create public works of art. In World War II Millard Sheets served as an artist-correspondent in India and Burma and by 1946 he was back home in the United States as president of the California Watercolor Society. The early 1950s found Millard Sheets to be a highly sought after architect and mosaic artist, completing many large commissions and designing scores of buildings in California. By 1954 Mr. Sheets was the Director of the Otis Art Institute where he directed the structuring of the BA and MFA programs and taught there until his departure in 1960. In 1997 the Otis College of Art and Design renamed their library "The Millard Sheets Library." Millard Sheets was a major force in the California Style watercolor movement of the 1930s and 1940s working in friendly competition with other painters like Rex Brandt and former student Milford Zornes. — Watercolor Masters: Millard Sheets © 2010 Greg Conley —

by Greg Conley

September 9th, 2015