Sueo Serisawa Biography

Sueo Serisawa




Sueo Serisawa, painter, printmaker, and teacher, was born in Yokohama, Japan on April 10, 1910. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1918, to join his artist-father, Yoichi in Seattle. Profoundly influenced by his father, Serisawa began to paint that same year. Eventually the family relocated to California, and established a home in Long Beach in 1921.

Serisawa studied at the Otis Art Institute between 1932 and 1933. As a student of George Baker, he studied European classicism and the techniques of the Old Masters. His first solo exhibition was held in 1940 in West Hollywood. The following year, his second solo exhibition opened in Los Angeles at the Museum of History, Science, and Art on December 7 -- the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. During the war years, his family avoided internment in the California camps by moving east, first to Chicago and then to New York. Serisawa studied at the Art Institute of Chicago School in 1943 and later in New York with Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Serisawa returned to Southern California in 1947 and, the following year, he joined the faculty of the Kann Art Institute in West Hollywood where he taught painting. He also taught at Scripps College, Claremont Graduate School, Laguna Beach School of Art, and the University of Southern California in Idyllwild. He held memberships in the Laguna Beach Art Association.

He held memberships in the Laguna Beach Art Association, the Foundation of Western Art, and is the past president of the California Watercolor Society. Included in numerous national and international exhibitions, his work has been honored with numerous purchase prizes, as well as the Carol H. Beck Gold Medal from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. A retrospective of his work was held at the Occidental College in Laguna Beach, and his work is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Museum of Modem Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution, and the San Diego Museum of Art. Serisawa remained in California, still creating works of art and teaching until he died on September 8, 2004 at the ago of 94.

A link to his obituary: