Herbert Dickens Ryman
(1910 – 1989)
Herbert Ryman was born in Vernon, Illinois, and he attended Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Art Institute of Chicago. Ryman was a southern California artist. He worked in watercolor, oils, and pen and ink sketches. His work involved projects of the Ringling Brother’s Circus and Walt Disney enterprises, as well as recording the nuances of shifting color patterns along the Monterey coast and the Arizona desert. He also had a reputation for painting portraits of well-known people. For some time in the 1930’s he was the sole artist and illustrator for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. In 1968 a retrospective exhibit of the artist’s work was held for the benefit of the new ‘California Institute of the Arts.’
His works are often classified as genre art, but the watercolors often have a Japanese, poetic quality. A two year world tour of Europe and Asia contributed greatly to Ryman’s preoccupation with racial types and exotic landscapes. In 1939 he joined Walt Disney, working as an illustrator and sometimes art director on such films as ‘Fantasia,’ ‘Dumbo’, and ‘Pinocchio’. He worked on designs for concepts in development of Disneyland and the Walt Disney World in Florida. A biography of Herbert Ryman called, ‘A Brush with Disney’, which has over 250 artworks, was printed in October of 2000.
At the University of Southern California, Ryman and his sister, Lucille Carroll, formed the Ryman Carroll Foundation, a program to give free, high-quality art instructions to talent high school students.
American Institute of Fine Arts
California Art Club (President, 1963)
Society of Illustrators