Stanton MacDonald Wright

Stanton MacDonald-Wright was a U.S. abstract painter. One of his significant achievements was co-founding the Synchromist movement in 1913.

MacDonald-Wright was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and moved to Santa Monica, California at age ten. He soon moved to Paris to study at the Sorbonne, Académie Julian, École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Colarossi. While there he and Morgan Russell developed synchromism, an art movement which aimed to create emotion with color. In 1915, during World War I, he left the Parisian art world for New York, and after for southern California, to which he brought the ‘gospel’ of modern art, and established the first exposition of modern art in Los Angeles.

The artist exhibited in New York City, then returned to Los Angeles, California in 1919. He was a major force in the Los Angeles art scene for the next several decades. He was the director of the Southern California division of the federal Works Project Administration from 1935 to 1942, and personally completed several major civic art projects, including the murals in Santa Monica City Hall.

After World War II, MacDonald-Wright became interested in Japanese art and Japanese culture, which led to the renewal of synchromism in his work. He taught art for decades at UCLA and also had studios in Kyoto, Japan and Florence, Italy.