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Darwin Musselman

California Styles of the Artist and Educator


The following chronology was prepared by the artist in support of his nomination for "Outstanding Professor, California State University, Fresno", which he was awarded in 1978.


Darwin Musselman

February 16, 1916

Born in Selma California. Son of Laban C and Lola Banks Musselman.


Family moved to Fresno.


Developed strong interest in art.


Family moved to San Jose for about a year, returning to Fresno in late spring. While in San Jose a drawing illustrating a fellow student's poem was published in the local newspaper.


Entered Fresno High School and studied art and engineering.

February 1934

Graduated from Fresno High School and entered Fresno State College as an Art Major.


Began exhibiting paintings in local art shows.


Awarded first prize in California College Art Student's competition.


Art Editor of College Yearbook. First commercial art work begun.

Summer of 1937

Studied painting with internationally-known American-German Cubist painter Lyonel Feininger.

June 1938

Graduated from Fresno State College. Listed among 10 outstanding graduates. Awarded $1,000 scholarship to Los Angeles Art Center School.


Attended Art Center School. In addition, painted as time permitted. Studied with Barse Miller, Fletcher Martin and Willard Nash.

June 1939

Returned to Fresno. Joined Advertising Agency as artist and Art Director. Painting resumed at an increased pace.


Illustrated book "Valley of the Yokuts." Became substitute teacher at Fresno State College.

August 30, 1940

Married Ethel Laura Walker.

May 1942

Moved to Berkeley. Worked as shipfitter in Kaiser Shipyards. Won award for War Poster. Paintings exhibited in group show at DeYoung Museum in San Francisco.

December 25, 1942

Birth of first son, Ronald Lee

November 4, 1944

Birth of daughter, Carol Sue.

September 1945

Returned to Fresno. Resumed position as Advertising Artist. Part-time instructor at Fresno State and Evening Adult School.

September 1946

Gave up advertising work to accept full-time teaching position at Fresno High School. Active in art organizational work on local and state levels.

September 1948

Appointed Director of School of Art Education, California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. Paintings accepted in important National and Regional exhibits.

Summer 1949

Studied with renowned painter Yasuo Kuniyoshi.

June 1950

Awarded M.F.A. Degree, California College of Arts and Crafts. Paintings win awards in highly competitive shows.

June 1952

Awarded M.A. Degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

February 1953

Returned to Fresno to teach at Fresno State College and privately. Was able to spend more time on painting.


Painted large mural for Producers Cotton Oil Co. Began free-lance commercial art in addition to teaching. Paintings exhibited in New York. Elected member in American Watercolor Society.

May 13, 1954

Birth of second son, Steven Earl.


Elected to membership in California Watercolor Society.


Paintings being shown more extensively in major museums throughout the United States.


Major retrospective exhibition at Fresno Arts Center.

Summer 1963

First trip abroad. Visited all major art galleries and museums in Western Europe.

On way, stops in Acapulco, Canal Zone, Curacao, Trinidad and Barbados.

Summer 1964

Second trip to Europe. Revisited areas and explored new locations, sketching and photographing. Again visited Acapulco, Canal Zone, and in addition, included Jamaica and Bermuda on way.


Major exhibition of paintings based on European motifs at Del Webb Center, Fresno.

Spring 1967

Sabbatical from teaching to paint.

October 1967

Large exhibition of Trompe l'oeil paintings at Fresno Arts Center.

September 1968

Changed from Art Department to Industrial Arts Department to develop program in commercial art and rendering at Fresno State University.

March 1971

Large retrospective exhibition (80 paintings) at Fresno Fashion Fair, Fresno.

March 1973

Large exhibition (70 paintings) at First Federal Savings Building, Fresno.

Summer 1974

Began work on large illustrations for Education project for Bilingual and Migratory education programs.

Summer 1975

Traveled and photographed on islands of Maui, Kauai and Oahu.

October 1975

Exhibition of Hawaiian paintings at Blaine Wilson Gallery, Fresno.

December 1975

Exhibition of paintings at the San Jose Art Center.

Summer 1976

Traveled and photographed throughout the New England States. Also photographed Northern Arizona. Photographed Navajos and Hopi Villages accompanied by native Indian guides.

March 1977

Exhibition of Western paintings at Blaine Wilson Gallery, Fresno.