Burton S. Boundey Biography

Known for landscape, marine, portrait, mural in oil, watercolor, conté and charcoal.

     Burton Boundey was born in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin where he lived with his tradesman-father, his musician-mother, and younger brother.

From an early age he showed an interest in drawing and wished to attend art school. With the encouragement of his mother, that opportunity came in 1901, three years after high school, when he enrolled in the Chicago Art Institute. There he was immediately placed in the advanced class.

He transferred to the Smith Art Academy, the Chicago affiliate of the Académie Julian in Paris, to study drawing from live models. He attended classes at the Academy off and on for the next five years during which time he scraped by financially with an assortment of odd jobs.

In 1907 he moved to Portland, Oregon, where he painted theatre scenery. A year later he relocated to Monrovia in southern California, and was elected to the Painters’ Club of Los Angeles. In the fall he exhibited with the Club at the Blanchard Gallery where he sold his first painting.

Early in 1909 he visited San Jose where he met his future wife, Letitia Brown, and then moved to New York City where he studied with both Robert Henri and George Bellows. Fellow students included George Luks and William Glackens. In New York he became a close friend of Hovsep Pushman.

Due to his father’s death he returned to Oconomowoc and assumed the responsibility of supporting his family for the next sixteen years.  Boundey did not ignore his art career and devoted the difficult winter months to painting on the ice in a small studio mounted on a sled.

In 1912 he exhibited at the First Salon of the Milwaukee Art Society and in 1919 he won a special award at the Milwaukee Art Institute for a group of seven black and white studies.

During his first recorded visit to the Monterey Peninsula in July of 1923, he was accompanied by his fiancée. They were married in 1924, and in 1926, the Boundeys moved to Monterey. He was now able to devote full time to his painting. In 1930 they built a studio-home on Munras Avenue which became a gathering place for local artists.  Boundey reportedly studied art with Armin Hansen.

Boundey grew very active in the local art community. He was a founding member of the Carmel Art Association and sat on its Board of Directors beginning in 1929 for numerous years. He was elected second vice president of the CAA in the summer of 1930, its first vice president in July of 1931 and its president between September of 1932 and August of 1934. He served on two of the rare CAA juries in 1932 and 1934.

He became a member of the American Artists’ Professional League. He  taught at the Carmel Art Institute which was under the direction of Kit Whitman. Between September of 1937 and early 1942 he conducted free life-drawing classes and portrait classes for the Adult Education Center at the Monterey Union High School. Active with the WPA during the Depression, he not only was the regional supervisor, but executed a mural for the Pacific Grove High School, the Monterey High School and the Old Custom House Museum. At the same time, he maintained a very active exhibition schedule.

At the start of World War II he and his wife sold their Monterey studio-home and assisted the National Park Service at the lookout stations on Carmel Mountain and on Chews Ridge in the Santa Lucia Mountains.

After buying a house trailer and spending much of their time visiting the Southwest, the Boundeys purchased a home in Pacific Grove where they lived from 1946 to 1962. Boundey continued to paint and teach.

He died of a heart attack at his Pacific Grove home on November 12, 1962 at the age of 83.

Education: Chicago Art Institute
Smith Art Academy (the Chicago affiliate of the Académie Julian in Paris)
Robert Henri, George Bellows, New York

Memberships: Painters’ Club of Los Angeles, 1908
American Artists’ Professional League
Carmel Art Association (founding member); Life member/1959
Monterey History and Art Association (founder)

Exhibited: First Salon of the Milwaukee Art Society, 1912
Milwaukee Art Institute, 1919 (Special Award)
Carmel Art Association
Artist Guild of Carmel
2nd State-wide Annual- Santa Cruz Art League, 1929-1936
Oakland Art Gallery, 1929; 1931; 1934
East-West Gallery (SF), 1929
Pasadena Art Institute, 1930
Monterey County Fair, 1931; 1956 (2nd Prize)
Denny-Watrous Gallery, Carmel (1st one-man exhib.),1932
California State Fair, 1930; 1937; 1940 (1st Prize); 1953
Del Monte Art Gallery/1933 (solo); 1940 (joint exhibition with the watercolors of John O’Shea)
De Young Memorial Museum (SF), 1934
San Francisco Museum of Art, 1935
San Francisco Art Association, 1935-1940
Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939-1940
Stanford University Art Gallery, 1937; 1943
Bay Region Art Association, 1939; 1941
Artists of Victory, 1943 (award)
Carmel Art & Culture Show, 1960 (2nd prize)

In: Pacific Grove High School (mural); Monterey High School (mural); Salinas High School; Santa Cruz Women’s Club; Custom House Museum (Monterey); Monterey Museum of Art; State Museum Resource Center (Sacramento).

Source: Robert W. Edwards/Jennie V. Cannon: The Untold History of the Carmel and Berkeley Art Colonies; Carmel Art Association/John O’Shea and Friends; Edan Hughes/Artists In California.