Skip to main content

Ben Messick Art

American, 1891-1981

Benjamin Newton Messick was born on January 9, 1891, on a farm near Strafford, Missouri. His art talent was apparent from the time he was a child and later recognized by his commanding officer in World War I. Little is recorded in his autobiography about Messick's life from his teen years and service during the War. He enrolled at Chouinard Institute in the Fall of 1925 and was given a three-year scholarship by Mrs. Chouinard. In 1925, he won a cash award at the Los Angeles County Fair for a group of pen and charcoal drawings done in the parks and streets of Los Angeles. These works give the appearance of being spontaneous and fluid. In 1930, Messick left Chouinard as a full-time student and rented an apartment on West Eighth Street to use as a studio and living quarters. He had his ideas on what he was trying to accomplish in art, “If you should ask what is the message of my drawings, I should say that they may explain themselves or maybe just a technical exercise.” By the mid-1940s, Messick's position in the art world had been well established as a teacher, painter, printmaker, writer and critic. Over his lifetime, he had over 400 shows and exhibitions. Starting in 1939, he produced several stone lithographs that appear to the untrained eye as original drawings. To Messick, the image was the most important aspect of his lithographs, and his signature on the plate was sufficient. Hand signing each lithograph did not seem necessary to him. He exhibited prints widely, including the Albany Print Club and the Metropolitan Museum. To further substantiate the authenticity of Messick's prints the Eclectic Gallery under the authority of the Messick family posthumously signed each estate-acquired stone lithograph. Messick had a childhood fascination with the circus and started drawing and painting the circus in 1935. His circus work, especially his clown studies, and his lithographs became his trademark work in the 1940s and 1950s. Messick died in 1981 in Apple Valley, California.

(Biography provided by Lagamina Fine Art)
Applied Filters2 results
Artist:Ben Messick
to
1
Item Location
2
2
2
Overall Height
to
Overall Width
to
1
2
2
2
11,634
3,147
2,532
1,919
2
2
Young Girl by the Window - Portrait
By Ben Messick
Located in Soquel, CA
Portrait of a young girl by a window by acclaimed California artist Ben Messick (American, 1891-1981). Signed "Ben Messick" in plate, and in pencil in the lower right corner, by the ...
Category

1940s American Impressionist Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Ink

On the Beach Baroque Style Figurative
By Ben Messick
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

1940s Baroque Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Ink

Related Items
On the Beach Baroque Style Figurative
By Ben Messick
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

1940s Baroque Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Ink

"Separation" Female Figure Underwater Etching
By Carol Bennett
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

1990s American Impressionist Ben Messick Art

Materials

Laid Paper, Etching

"Study 8" Figurative Lithograph
By Jim Smyth
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

1970s American Impressionist Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Etching

Portrait of a Woman
By Nic Jonk
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

1980s Expressionist Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Ink, Foam Board

"The Volunteer - Civil War" Historical Portrait, 742/1500
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

1980s American Realist Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Ink, Offset

Two Girls in Gowns Figurative
By Dorian Krausz
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

Late 20th Century Contemporary Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Ink, Drypoint

"Mother and Sleeping Child" Alaska
By Susan Pennewell Ellis
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

1970s Expressionist Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Ink, Offset

Portrait of Sam Colburn Carmel Artist
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

1980s Realist Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Ink, Lithograph

Abstracted Elder Portrait - Etching
By Claudette McElroy
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

Late 20th Century Contemporary Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Ink, Etching

Portrait of Georgia O'Keeffe
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

1990s Symbolist Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Ink

Pop Art Portrait of Kate Moss
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

Late 20th Century Pop Art Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Screen

"Reflections at 29" - Steel Plate Etching (AP) Edition 1 of 1
By Patricia A. Pearce
Located in Soquel, CA
Category

1980s Contemporary Ben Messick Art

Materials

Paper, Etching

Artists Similar to Ben Messick