Orpha Klinker

Orpha Klinker - Winter Touches the Desert - Aquatint AP1628

Regular price $400.00

 A beautiful print. Plate measures 9" x 7" on paper that is 12 1/4" x 11". Numbered 29/100.

Orpha Klinker is one of the most delightful figures in California art and we are thrilled to have added her work to our collection. Her work is prominently featured in Maurine St. Gaudens' magisterial four-volume survey "Emerging From The Shadows: A Survey of Women Artists Working In California, 1860-1960."

Orpha Mae Klinker (1891–1964) was an American artist well known for her California plein air landscape paintings and etchings as well as her portraiture and early California historic sites. She was also an active illustrator and graphic designer. Klinker was recognized for her series of historical and pioneer paintings. She painted a series of portraits of notable Californians and memorialized many historic early California structures on canvas. On October 14, 1963, she was awarded a resolution by the City Council of Los Angeles, recognizing her outstanding professional skill and appreciation for the many honors she has brought to the city.

Orpha Klinker was born in Fairfield, Iowa on November 20, 1891, the firstborn of five children of Lewis William Klinker and Lydia Jane Raver. Her given name is a modification of the Biblical name Orpah. The family moved to California when she was a child, first to Chico, and eventually to Los Angeles. Klinker attended school in Los Angeles at Polytechnic High School, and later studied under noted California plein air painter mentors Anna Hills and Paul Lauritz. She traveled to Europe with fellow artist Crystal Wood Stephen to do further art studies at the Académie Julian and the Académie Colarossi, both in Paris, France.

Klinker did commercial illustration work in fashion and furniture design during the 1920s in both Los Angeles and New York. She also created book illustrations and contributed to magazines.

Starting in the 1930s, she created more than 100 illustrated historical plate designs for Vernon Kilns company in California, a forerunner in the commemorative plate business. These plates, showing historical features of places throughout the United States, are collectibles.

While living in New York City, Klinker created a series of paper dolls with children's characters in the kewpie style featuring fashionable clothing of the 1920s. The series, The Betty Bobbs Family, featuring Betty Bobbs, Bonnie Bobbs, Bobby Bobbs and Baby Bobbs, was published in Pictorial Review magazine in 1925, in the January, February, May and July issues. They remain sought-after as paper doll collectibles.

Beginning in the 1920s, Klinker's work focused on fashion illustration for retail stores, furniture firms, magazines and pattern companies. Examples of her fashion work appeared in spreads in the Los Angeles Times feature pages to introduce the new season trends. Using multiple figures in elaborate settings, she illustrated the finest in women's 1920s to 1930s styles. Her signature appeared in these omnibus drawings.

 Beginning in 1930, Klinker and her brother Zeno Klinker collaborated to form the Klinker Kraft Kard Company. They created a new line of humorous greeting cards during the Depression, a style they called burlesque cards, that was illustrated by Orpha and written by Zeno.

During World War II, Klinker created pastel portraits for more than 1000 United States military personnel at various Veterans Hospitals. An exhibition of some of these portraits were widely shown, including a show at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California.

Klinker married twice. In the mid 1930s, some of her work was signed with her married name at the time, Orpha Klinker Carpenter.  Klinker died in Los Angeles on May 23, 1964.

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