Millard Sheets

born Pomona, CA 1907-died Gualala, CA 1989
Media - sheets_millard.jpg - 90536
Image is courtesy of the Millard Sheets papers, 1907-1990 in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Also known as
  • Millard Owen Sheets
Pomona, California, United States
Gualala, California, United States
Active in
  • Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Claremont, California, United States
  • American

Born and lives in California. Painter, etcher, illustrator, designer, who has received numerous prizes for his work.

Charles Sullivan, ed American Beauties: Women in Art and Literature (New York: Henry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with National Museum of American Art, 1993)

Luce Artist Biography

Millard Sheets studied art in California and became one of the state’s foremost artists and architects during his lifetime. He worked hard to make a name for himself early in his career, and by 1935 he had already shown his work in twenty-seven museums across the country. One critic titled a review of Sheets’s New York debut “A Name to Remember.” Sheets supplemented his income working with architects as a color consultant and designer, and during World War II he worked as an illustrator for Life magazine, traveling to India and Burma. When he returned from the war, he organized an exhibition featuring the work of German and Japanese artists as a gesture of reconciliation. Over the course of his career, Sheets designed numerous buildings, including banks, malls, schools, and private homes. He also produced watercolors, prints, and mosaics while serving as chair of the art department at Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School, and he later directed the Otis Art Institute. (Steadman, Millard Sheets, Scripps College, 1976)

Related Books

1934: A New Deal for Artists
During the Great Depression, president Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised a “new deal for the American people,” initiating government programs to foster economic recovery. Roosevelt’s pledge to help “the forgotten man” also embraced America’s artists. The Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) enlisted artists to capture “the American Scene” in works of art that would embellish public buildings across the country. Although it lasted less than one year, from December 1933 to June 1934, the PWAP provided employment for thousands of artists, giving them an important role in the country’s recovery. Their legacy, captured in more than fifteen thousand artworks, helped “the American Scene” become America seen.