Warren Newcombe

1894- 1960

Warren Newcombe was born in Waltham, Massachusetts in 1894, and was a pupil of Joseph DeCamp, the well known figure painter of that time. He graduated from Boston’s Normal Art School in 1914 and began working as a commercial artist in New York and Massachusetts. He did movie work for film pioneers David O. Selznick and D.W. Griffith before moving to Los Angeles in 1925 to head the special effects department at MGM Studios.

Newcombe was honored many times for his special effects including Academy Awards for his work in “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo”, “Mrs. Miniver”, and “Green Dolphin Street”. He also did the special effects for the classic musical, “Singin’ In the Rain”, and hundreds of other movies.

Although his film work took up the majority of his time, he continued painting and making lithographs but his fine art work is rather rare. His style, which had been influenced while he lived on the East coast by John Singer Sargent, became more allied with the French artists Matisse and Dufy after his move to California. He is considered to be a Modernist, preferring curved, simplified forms and giving them a sculptural grandeur whether landscape or still life.

Newcombe exhibited throughout the 1930s at the Pasadena Art Institute; the Stendhal Gallery in Los Angeles; the San Francisco Art Association; the San Diego Fine Arts Society; the San Francisco Museum of Art; the Crocker Art Gallery; the Golden Gate International Exposition; and the Oakland Art Gallery. His works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Newcombe passed away in Taxco, Mexico in 1960. (Information from Edan Hughes’s Artists in California, 1786-1940)

Lithograph on tissue paper
image size 6 ½” x 10 ½ “
Signed in pencil in the margin
archivally matted and framed
framed size 14” x 18”
Has some paper discoloration