Paul Lauritz Biography

Paul Lauritz




Paul Lauritz, painter and printmaker, was born in the artistic community of Larvik, Norway. Foreign artists were drawn to Larvik and in this climate the young Lauritz was disposed towards drawing; he was studying in the local art school by the age of twelve. His father owned a quarry where Lauritz spent much of his free time, working and assimilating the techniques of hard rock drilling.

At sixteen, Lauritz immigrated to eastern Canada to live with his sister, relying on his mining skills for survival. Moving west, he was briefly in Vancouver and then Portland, Oregon where commercial art provided him only a meager existence. The Alaskan gold rush lured him north in 1915. Mining for gold left him insolvent so he turned to painting. He met fellow artist Sydney Laurence and they held an exhibition before Lauritz departed the Alaskan territory. Settling in Los Angeles in 1919, he built a home and taught at the Chouinard and Otis Art Institutes.

Lauritz specialized in landscape painting. He left his studio for painting excursions to the desert, the Sierra, Mexico, Columbia River, and Norway. He was an active participant in the art scene in Los Angeles, joining numerous local and regional art organizations and serving on the Municipal Art Commission for many years. Lauritz was also a member of the Royal Society of Artists, England, and the Society of Western Artists. An exhibition of his paintings opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in November 1920. His paintings were awarded numerous prizes and are in the collections of the Joslyn Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art, Laguna Museum, University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Chicago.