Roi Partridge

1888 – 1984

Roi Partridge was an accomplished etcher and photographer born in the Territory of Washington. His father was a typesetter who later moved his family to Seattle where he began publishing a newspaper.

His mother took him out of school when he was ten and had him take art lessons. The family moved to Kansas in 1907 and Partridge enrolled at the Fine Arts Institute in Kansas City (later, the Kansas City Art Institute).

Partridge left home when he was twenty and spent the next six years traveling and studying art. He spent one year at the National Academy of Design. Then, he went to Munich, Germany to study etching for two years. He deepened his experience in etching by spending the next three years in Paris as an apprentice to Bertha Jaques, an American printmaker who founded the Chicago Society of Etchers. Architectural landmarks and portraits were his main subjects while in Europe. But he experimented also and was somewhat influenced by the Symbolist Movement of avant gard Parisian artists while he was there. During this time, he was corresponding with a childhood friend from Seattle, Imogen Cunningham. When the German army was approaching Paris during WWI he left for America. He and Cunningham were reunited and married about a year later.

Partridge had immediate success when 44 of his etchings were selected to be shown at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in 1915 in San Francisco. His entry in a Chicago Society of Etchers exhibition won a Purchase Award in 1916. It was shortly after this he changed his name from George Roy Partridge to Roi Partridge. Two years later, he moved to San Francisco and, in1920, began his teaching career at Mills College.

Roi Partridge was a traditional etcher whose draftsmanship was outstanding. His respect for nature was evident. Except for a series of buildings at Mills College, his subject matter once he was back in the United States was primarily landscape.

He also excelled as a photographer but was overshadowed in that field by the fame of Imogen Cunningham, to whom he was married 19 years.
Biographies say he was an active printmaker until 1952, retiring from Mills College in 1954.

His works are in the Amarillo Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, Toronto Art Gallery, the Oakland Museum of California, San Diego Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, and others.

“Winged Victory”
signed in the margin
image size 2 ½” x 4”
framed size (archival matting) 15 1/4” x 10 ½”