Edward Oscar “Ted” Withers
(1896 – 1964)
Painter. Born in Wellington, New Zealand on September 30, 1896. Withers studied at Wellington College, Royal Academy and Slade School in London, and Academie Julian in Paris. While in Los Angeles in the 1930’s and early 1940’s, he worked for Columbia Pictures and won many medals and first prizes in local shows. He died in Los Angeles on March 19, 1964.
Withers was CAC president during the First Annual G.I. Art Exhibit held at the Los Angeles County Museum in 1946 which was jointly sponsored by the CAC and the Veterans Administration. He was also head of the club during the protest at the Los Angeles County Museum in May 1947 that received coverage in the local papers as well as Life magazine.
Excerpts from Withers’ Inauguration Speech, June 1946:
“I had merely looked upon this club as a unit through which one was able to exhibit. I have now a different conception. This club, your club, is a civic endeavor; a nucleus of a Way of Living; a dynamic force influencing the lives and thinking…a little better to see. This kind of force is an immortal thing. It goes on, it never dies.
Juries may reject us and critics treat us with contempt, but we shall grow spiritually, we shall continue and prosper. During the recent Battle of the Museum, certain strains were put upon us…by distortion of the facts, our opponents dubbed us a pressure group…It is not the efforts of our enemies which destroys, but division within our ranks. So stand fast!
We come bearing the gifts of art and culture…to embellish an otherwise drab civilization. We SHALL exert pressure to enrich this city with a spirit of art to make it a veritable Athens of the West. ~ Edward Withers
Edan Milton Hughes, Artists in California 1786 – 1940
California Art Club (President, May 1946 – May 1947)
Painters and Sculptors of Los Angeles
Society for Sanity in Art