Ivan Messenger Biography

Ivan Messenger

American

1895-1983

Biography

Ivan Messenger, painter, printmaker, teacher and author, was born in Omaha Nebraska in 1895.  He came to California in 1916 to attend the Panama California Exposition held in San Diego.  In 1921 he graduated from Stanford University with an MA degree in romance languages, after which he taught linguistics at Stanford and the University of Texas until about 1925 when he moved to San Diego. 

In San Diego he taught at the State University and held classes in life drawing at Balboa Parks Fine Art Gallery.  His most productive period was prior to 1945, and though he is best known for his watercolors, he was just as facile with pastels, gouache, oils and more.  He was a member of and exhibited with the Laguna Beach Art Association and the California Watercolor Society and his work was exhibited at the California-Pacific International Exposition. 

In 1969 Messenger wrote Not For Tourists Only: An Early Portrait of San Diego and illustrated it with reproductions of his drawings, paintings, lithographs and aquatints.  He died in San Diego on September 6th, 1983.