Walter Miller Askin Biography

Walter Miller Askin




Walter Askin, painter, printmaker, sculptor and professor, was born in Pasadena, California on September 12, 1929. His father was a draughtsman for the city of Pasadena and his brother would go on to become an architect; as such, Askin was exposed to drawing and technical proficiency from a young age. His parents enrolled him in Pasadena's "6-4-4" educational program, in which he attended six years of elementary school, four of junior high, and four of high and school combined with junior college. Following this, he remained at Pasadena Junior College with cohorts David Simpson, Wally Hedrick, and Paula Webb Clark-Samazan from 1946 to 1949. There, he studied sculpture, painting and printmaking under Leonard Edmondson. He then went on to study at the University of California Berkeley, earning his BA and MA degrees as a Calmerton Scholar in Art, and then continued graduate work at Oxford where he helped start the Museum of Modern Art. His first solo show was at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco while he worked as assistant curator at the Legion of Honor. Additional notable exhibitions took place at the MoMA (Recent Drawings U.S.A., 1956), Kunstlerhaus Vienna, the Whitney Museum of Art, and others.

Askin began a lengthy teaching career at the California State University, Los Angeles in 1956 where he became Professor of Art. He was also a visiting professor at the University of California Berkeley; the California State University, Long Beach; and the University of Hawaii. He served on the board of trustees of Pasadena Art Museum; Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art; as the artist representative to the Graphics Arts Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and on the board of governors for Baxter Art Gallery at California Institute of Technology. He was an adjunct Professor in the Visual Arts Research Institute at Arizona State University and twice an invited artist at the Tamarind Institute at the University of New Mexico.

Askin was a member of the College Art Association of America and was president of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society. He was honored with many awards for his teaching and his art and his work is represented in the collections of the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Kunstlerhaus, Vienna; the Oxford Museum of Modern Art England; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the Norton Simon Museum; the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Worcester Art Museum; and the Portland Museum of Art among many others.

Walter Askin died on November 18, 2021, in Pasadena, California.