We sadly report that gallery artist, Donald Holden passed away peacefully April 25 at age 86. Donald Holden was born in Los Angeles in 1931 and grew up in New York City. He studied at the Art Students League in New York with Robert Beverly Hale in 1947. He received a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.A. from Ohio State University. Holden held positions as director of public relations at Philadelphia College of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He then joined Fortune magazine as arts editor after which he began to work for Watson-Guptill Publishers, first as editorial director and then editorial consultant. Holden is also the author of Whistler’s Landscapes and Seascapes (1950) in addition to numerous articles published in American Artist, Architectural Record, The Artist’s Magazine, and The New York Times. At age 56 he became a full-time artist. His luminous watercolors and minimalist drawings are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Butler Institute of American Art, among others. In 2004 DONALD HOLDEN WATERCOLORS was published by Richard Boyle. Most recently the Springfield Art Museum in Springfield, Mo. presented the exhibition
DONALD HOLDEN - MEMORY PAINTER from July-October 2016.
Donald was loved for his hugs, generosity, brilliance and keen wit. He leaves behind his wife of 63 years, Willi, and children Wendy and Blake, along with grandchildren Lila and Sophie.
Obituary was published in The New York Times on June 2, 2017
"Less is more" is a concept that permeates Donald Holden's works.
Color range, format, and subject matter are deliberately understated. His atmospheric watercolors are completed in the mind of the viewer. All of this contributes to what the artist calls a "distillation of vision". Holden prefers to work on a small, intimate scale. He believes that this format brings the viewer into a direct and intense relationship with the painting. "It's more than meets the eye," says Holden. Holden's spiritual mentors are the 15th century Japanese master, Sesshe, J.M.W. Turner, and James McNeill Whistler.
Donald Holden, NA
Born: Los Angeles, CA 1931
1947- Art Students League of New York
1951- BA Columbia University
1952- MA Ohio State University
1986- Honorary Doctorate Maine College of Art
1994 -elected to National Academy
Honors and Awards
Florsheim Art Fund grant, 1999
Adolph & Clara Obrig Prize, National Academy of Design 176th Annual
Selected Public Collections in US & Great Britain
Art Students League of New York
British Museum, London
Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC
Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA
Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, NC
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
National Academy, NY
National Gallery, Washington, DC
Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA
Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
Victoria and Albert Museum, London