Francis Augustus Todhunter Biography

Francis Augustus Todhunter




Painter, printmaker, and graphic artist, Francis Augustus Todhunter was born on July 29, 1884, in San Francisco, California. For the academic year 1900-01 he studied at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art in San Francisco under Alice Chittenden, John Stanton, Douglas Tilden, Charles C. Judson and Arthur Mathews.

By the year 1903 Todhunter was established as a commercial artist and created illustrations for the Overland Monthly, various San Francisco newspapers and Sunset magazine. In 1906 he married fellow artist, Alice Serella, and they moved to New York. In 1910, he was listed as an artist and lithographer and during this time he enrolled in the National Academy of Design. The Todhunters returned to San Francisco in 1913 and the following year he was hired by the McCann-Erickson advertising firm and worked as the art director for thirty-two years. He continued to paint and he furthered his education in 1917 at the California School of Fine Arts under Frank Van Sloun and Pedro J. de Lemos. The Todhunters spent summers of 1918 and 1919 in Carmel, California where he was a student in Armin Hansen’s art class.

Todhunter was a member of and exhibited with the Bohemian Club, the American Artists Professional League, the Society of Western Artists, the Marin Society of Artists, the San Francisco Art Association, the Society of the Thirteen Watercolorists, and the California Society of Etchers. He was included in the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. That same year, he won first prize for painting at the Bay Region Art Association's annual show at the Oakland Art Gallery. A solo exhibition of his work was mounted at the Oakland Art Gallery in 1943. While best known for his oil paintings that showcased Northern California landscapes, he was equally adept at printmaking. H.L. Dungan of the Oakland Tribune described Todhunter's style as “a combination of Impressionism, commercial art, and Todhunter" (April 12, 1942, p. 41). After retiring in 1949, Todhunter focused on painting, capturing the landscapes and seascapes of Marin County, and continued to exhibit his work into the mid 1950s.

Francis Augustus Todhunter died in San Francisco on February 11, 1963.