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John Garth - Murals and Art
John Garth
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John Garth

San Francisco, CA

"John Garth was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 21, 1889. His father was a prominent physician who taught at the University of Chicago. The younger Garth taught himself human anatomy in the dissecting rooms thereby making anatomical charts for his father's medical lectures. As a teenager he studied art in Rome, London, Paris, and Munich; after returning from Europe, he enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago. While attending Yale University, he spent summers in New York City studying at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. Upon graduating from Yale University, he won a traveling scholarship to Venice and Istanbul. From Turkey he went to Hawaii for two years and, intending to return to Chicago, left Hawaii in 1919. Arriving in San Francisco, he was struck by the city's natural beauty and remained a resident there for the rest of his life. Garth temporarily was art director of the Pacific Railways Advertising Company, and from 1920-35, conducted the Garth School of Art. He staged his first one-man show at Gump's and maintained a studio in the Fairmont Hotel. During the 1930s he served as mural director for the WPA Art Project on the San Francisco peninsula. For 15 years he served as art critic for the San Francisco Argonaut and for many years was chairman for painting and sculpture for the San Francisco Art Commission. Garth was a vital force in the local art scene during his 52 years in San Francisco. He died at his home at 471 Castenada Avenue on June 1, 1971."