Nell Gertrude Walker Warner Biography

Nell Gertrude Walker Warner




Painter and illustrator Nell Walker Warner was born in Richardson County, Nebraska on April 1, 1891. She graduated from the Lexington Women's College, Missouri in 1910 and moved for a brief time to Colorado Springs on a teaching assignment. From there, Warner relocated to Los Angeles, California to enroll at the L.A. School of Art and Design, where she earned her degree in 1916.

Warner taught art classes at the Hollywood School for Girls and the Westlake School for Girls for two years, and in 1920 she married her first husband, surgeon Bion S. Warner. They would spend three summers traveling throughout Europe, where Warner sketched and painted landscape and harbor scenes in watercolor and gouache.

In 1921 Warner continued her art studies with Nicolai Fechin and Paul Lauritz while living in La Canada, California. She soon earned memberships in the California Art Club, California Watercolor Society, Women Painters of the West, Laguna Beach Art Association, Glendale Art Association, Academy of Western Painters, Society of Western Artists, and Pasadena Society of Artists, and exhibited her works across the U.S. In addition, she served as art curator for the Tuesday Afternoon Club in Los Angeles and worked in the art department of Walt Disney Studios executing illustrating backgrounds and titles for films. 

In 1945 Warner married Emil Shostrom and together they resumed extensive European as well as Latin American travels during the 1950s. Five years later they settled in Carmel, where she became an Artist Member of the Carmel Art Association and authored a book titled How Nell Walker Warner Paints in Oils, published in the Walter T. Foster instructional series. Nell was known as “America’s foremost painter of flowers.” Since her death on November 30, 1970, she is best remembered for her floral still lifes and New England waterfront views.

Biography partially gathered from the Carmel Art Association, representatives of Warner.