Stanton Macdonald-Wright American, 1890-1973


Stanton MacDonald-Wright was born in Charlottesville, VA on July 8, 1890. He moved with his family to California in 1900 when his father became manager of the Arcadia Hotel in Santa Monica, California. The proverbial "enfant terrible" or "problem child", Stanton ran away from home on a windjammer when he was only eleven years old. Because the family moved so frequently, Stanton's father provided him with private tutors and art lessons with Warren Hedges and Joseph Greenbaum at the Arts Students League in Los Angeles in 1906. Expelled the next year in 1907 from military school over allegations of vandalism, young Stanton married at the age of seventeen.


In 1909 he left for Europe with his new wife and mother-in-law, settling in Paris, where he took a studio and continued to study art at the Sorbonne, Académies Julian, Beaux Arts, and Colarossi. In order to not be confused with the architect Frank Lloyd Wright or the aviator Wilbur Wright Stanton soon hyphenated his last name with Macdonald. While in Paris he met Morgan Russell, another young expatriate American artist, who introduced him to Ernest Percyval Tudor-Hart, a Canadian artist and color theorist, with whom both began to study. Inspired by European modernism, including the work of the Futurists and Robert and Sonia Delaunay Russell and Macdonald-Wright coined the term Synchromism using Greek elements meaning "system of combining color" in which they touted their thesis that color could generate form. They launched their new movement in Munich and Paris with co-exhibitions and shows in 1913. In New York in 1914 the Carroll Galleries mounted a show entitled, Exhibition of Synchromist paintings by Morgan Russell and S. Macdonald-Wright.


Society of Independent Artists

Works Progress Administration (WPA)/Federal Arts Project


Art Institute of Chicago

Corcoran Gallery Biennial

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Pennsylvania Academy

Smithsonian Institution

Society of Independent Artists

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Museums and Public Collections

Art Institute of Chicago

Boston Museum of Fine Art

Brooklyn Museum of Art

Carnegie Institute

Columbus Art Museum

Corcoran Museum of Art

Denver Art Museum

Detroit Institute of Arts

Grand Rapids Art Gallery

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Frederick R. Weisman Museum at the University of Minnesota

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Oakland Museum, Oakland, California

Orange County Museum, California

Pasadena Art Institute

Philadelphia Museum of Art

San Diego Fine Arts Society

San Diego Museum

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Santa Monica City Hall

Santa Monica High School

Santa Monica Public Library

Thomas Edison Junior High School, Los Angeles, California

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

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