William Sandorhaji Darling (1882-1963) - Desert Morning - circa 1930s P2847
A beautiful California desert landscape. Oil on Canvas on Masonite. Measures 14" x 18", frame 25" x 21" x 2".
Born Wilmos Bela Sandorhaji at his family estate in Sandorhaji, Hungary on Sept. 14, 1882, William Darling studied art for eight years at the Royal Academy of Budapest followed by further study in Paris at Ecole des Beaux Arts.
After immigrating to the U.S. in 1910, he established a reputation as a portrait painter in NYC with such sitters as the evangelist Billy Sunday and the Woolworth family. At the beginning of WWI he settled in Los Angeles and, due to anti-German sentiment, changed his name to William S. Darling.
He then began a 30-year career as supervising art director for 20th Century Fox Studios, winning three Oscars and several nominations for his settings. During his leisure he began painting landscapes en plein air as well as nocturnal cowboy and Indian scenes à la Frank Tenney Johnson.
Darling maintained homes in Palm Springs and Laguna Beach where he derived much of his subject matter. He also made many painting forays into the Southwest. He died in Laguna Beach, CA on Dec. 15, 1963.
For more on his illustrious Hollywood career (Oscars... and a long collaboration withJohn Ford among other things worth noting):