Bentley Schaad (1925-1999)
Robert Bentley Schaad was born in Los Angeles, California in 1925. As an art student he attended Jepson Art Institute, the Art Center in Pasadena, as well as the Claremont Colleges. As a pupil, and later a colleague of Henry Lee McFee, Schaad learned the principles of line, color, and form. His proficiency as an artist and his technical aesthetic innovations enabled him to begin teaching art at Otis Art Institute. Bentley Schaad spent the majority of his career as an instructor at Otis and eventually becoming the Dean of Fine Arts at Otis. Committed to his role as a teacher, Schaad wrote the book, The Realm of Contemporary Still Life Painting (New York: Reinhold Pub., 1962). An important instructional text, the book highlights the necessity of formal training, techniques of line/form, and color theory.
Although an exceptionally solitary and private person, Schaad was revered by his students. He rarely discussed his own work as an artist. Nonetheless, Schaad is considered a principal figure in the Los Angeles modern art school of the mid-century. From his early still life paintings to his later, modernist work, all of Schaad’s compositions maintained a unique aesthetic sensibility and complex precision.
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