Edgar Dorsey Taylor Biography

Edgar Dorsey Taylor




Edgar Dorsey Taylor (1904-1978), painter, printmaker, mosaic muralist, and teacher, was born in Grass Valley, California on July 15, 1904. He worked in mines and sawmills to pay for his art studies and he graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 1928. After graduation, he worked for a year in the commercial art field before traveling to France, Italy, and Germany where he studied with Hans Hoffman.

Taylor returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and earned his MA from the University of California in 1932 and taught at the summer session. He was awarded the Tauffig Traveling Fellowship and traveled for a year studying in Germany, Italy, Sicily, Greece, Crete, and the Anatolian peninsula. Upon returning in 1933, Taylor taught for one year at UC Berkeley. He also taught briefly at the University of Texas and, after his move to Los Angeles, at the University of Southern California.

During the Depression Taylor worked for the WPA Federal Art Project and was on the Lithography Project. In 1940, he was among the group of twenty artists who produced lithographs for the Contemporary Graphics series published by the San Francisco Chronicle.

He worked in oil, watercolor, lithography, conté crayon, mosaic, and stained glass until 1959 after which he concentrated entirely on woodcut. In 1969, the Plantin Press of Los Angeles published his book, Baja California Woodcuts.

Taylor was a member of the San Francisco Art Association. Solo exhibitions of his work were mounted at the Pasadena Museum, Crocker Museum, Smithsonian Institute, University of Texas, and the University of Maine. His work is represented in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Crocker Museum, Library of Congress, National Museum of American Art, and the University of California Los Angeles.

Edgar Dorsey Taylor died in Los Angeles on March 28, 1978.  His archive is at the University of California.