Edouard Antonin Vysekal

Artist (Czech Republic)
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Born in Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia on March 17, 1890 into a family of artists. Edouard Vysekal began his art studies in Prague and, after joining his father in St Paul, MN in 1907, studied at the AIC under Vanderpoel, and later with Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Harry M. Walcott, and Morgan Russell.

He taught at the Art Institute from 1912-14 and married one of his pupils, Luvena Buchanan. In 1914 the couple came west to execute a mural commission in the Barbara Worth Hotel in El Centro, CA. Opting to remain in California, he established a studio home in the Hollywood Hills.


Edouard Antonin Vysekal was one of the early modernists active in Southern California. Born into a family of artists, he was introduced to art at an early age, attending the Industrial and Art Polytechnic School, Prague. After immigrating to the United States at age seventeen, he sought instruction first at the Art Institute of Saint Paul and then the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied with J. H. Vanderpoel (18571911) and Harry M. Walcott (1870-1944). He taught at the Art Institute from 1912 to 1914, when he moved to California, his wife, Luvena Buchanan Vysekal (d. 1954), having received a mural commission for the Hotel Barbara Worth in El Centro, California.

The Vysekals settled permanently in Southern California and immediately became active in the local art life, both exhibiting in 1919 with the modernist group the California Progressive Painters and later with the Group of Eight. Vysekal’s work won acclaim from both conservative and avant-garde critics because he demonstrated in his figure and still-life paintings the ability to retain a command of draftsmanship like the old masters’ while exploring the potential of abstract color and form. Vysekal exhibited regularly in the annual exhibitions of the California Art Club, the Los Angeles Museum, and the California Watercolor Society. He inspired many Southern California painters through his teaching, first at the Art Students League of Los Angeles and at the Otis Art Institute, where he taught life drawing and landscape painting from 1922 till his death.

Luvena Buchanan, "Edouard A. Vysekal, Painter," Czechoslovak Review 8 (June 1924): 157-59 § Sonia Wolfsons "Two Ironic Romanticists," Argus 4 (October 1928): 3, 14 § Arthur Millier, "Our Artists in Person, no. 3: The Vysekals," Los Angeles Times, July 20, 1930, pt. 3, p. 12 § LACMHSA, Edouard Vysekal Memorial Exhibition, exh. cat., 1940, with preface by Arthur Millier § Moure with Smith 1975, pp. 260-61, with bibliography.

Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1917-33; Who's Who in American Art 1936-41; Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); Los Angeles Times, 7-20-1930 & 12-9-1939 (obituary).