Moira Wallace Courvoisier Biography

Moira Wallace Courvoisier




Moira Wallace, painter, muralist, printmaker, and designer, was born on 2 April 1910 in Carmel, California. A child prodigy she began her art education at age eleven years old by studying with Fred Gray at the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club. At age fourteen, she took art classes at the University of California extension and one of her drawing was selected to feature the article “The Spirit of Carmel” which ran in the Oakland Tribune on 28 September 1924. After completing her studies at the Dominican Convent in San Rafael, California, Wallace continued to pursue her path to art by studying with James Blanding Sloan and Armin Hansen in Carmel and with Maurice Sterne at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. During the 1920s she worked for the outdoor advertising company Foster and Kleiser in San Francisco and, in 1927, she illustrated the book Po-ho-no and the Legends of Yosemite authored by Elinor Shane Smith. In the mid to late 1930s, Wallace created lithographs for the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project. At a later date, she moved to Southern California where she designed for the Disney Studios.

Wallace wed Guthrie Courvoisier in 1941. Courvoisier inherited Courvoisier Galleries in San Francisco from his father Ephraim B. Courvoisier in 1934. In July 1938, Roy Disney granted Courvoisier the exclusive right to market Disney original animation art. Courvoisier and Wallace founded the plastic arts firm Couroc of Monterey in 1948, producing high-end products for home entertainment. He developed the technology for sturdy plastics and she headed the design department.

As a member of the San Francisco and the Carmel Art Associations Wallace exhibited with both associations and her work was also exhibited at Gump’s Department Store in San Francisco, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Carmel Museum. She painted murals at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Carmel High School, and the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. Her work is in the collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; University of Kentucky Art Museum; and the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota.

Wallace died in Monterey on 15 January 1979.