Search the Collections

Douglass Ewell Parshall
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
New York, New York
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Montecito, CA
Biography provided courtesy of “California Watercolors 1850-1970” By Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last. Douglass Parshall, N.A. (1899-1990)... Born: New York City, NY Studied: Arts Students League (New York); Member: National Academy of Design, American Watercolor Society, California Water Color Society. Douglass Parshall grew up in New York and began receiving art instruction from his father at an early age. He continued his education at the Art Students League, and in 1917, moved west with his family to settle in Santa Barbara. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, he traveled with his family to China, North Africa, Italy, France and Mexico. He painted extensively on these travels and had a chance to view a wide variety of art. In addition to painting watercolors, Parshall produced oil paintings, limited edition lithographic prints and portraits. Occasionally, he instructed small groups of advanced art students and in 1947, was president of the California Water Color Society. This biography from the archives of Douglass Ewell Parshall was born in New York City on November 19, 1899. As a child he began to draw under the guidance of his father, Dewitt. By age ten he was painting landscapes, and at fifteen he had one of his works exhibited at the National Academy of Design. He later studied briefly at the Art Students League in New York City, Acadmie Julian in Paris, the Boston Museum School, and with Frank M. Fletcher. In 1917 he settled in Santa Barbara, California with his family and established a studio in Alexander Harmer's old adobe. Parshall traveled extensively seeking subject matter in the remote corners of the world. Using mixed media, his subject matter is very diverse including landscapes with figures, portraits, and horses. His works won many awards in California exhibitions. During the 1960s and 1970s he taught portraiture at the Santa Barbara Art Institute. Parshall died at his home in Montecito near Santa Barbara on August 29, 1990. Douglass Ewell Parshall was a member of the National Academy of Design; Society of Western Artists; California Art Club; Painters of the West; Santa Barbara Art Association; Los Angeles Art Association; California Watercolor Society (president 1947-48). His exhibitions include Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1918, 1921; National Academy of Design, New York City, 1924, 1927 (Hallgarten prize); Century of Progress, Chicago, 1933; De Young Museum, San Francisco, 1935; Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco, 1939; Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento, 1942; California Watercolor Society, 1958, 1962, 1965 (prize). Parshall's works are in the collections of Warner Brothers Theater, Hollywood (murals); Santa Barbara Jr. High School (murals); Syracuse Museum, New York; Reading Museum, Pennsylvania; Kansas City Museum; San Diego Museum; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Detroit Museum; M. H. de Young Museum, San Francisco; Oakland Museum; Santa Barbara Museum. Credit: