Organizations* : AOA, CAA, NA, NAWA
One of the premier watercolorists of this century, Donald Teague was born in Brooklyn, New York. In the beginning of his illustration career, he studied under Bridgman and DuMond at the famed Art Students League in New York. After WWI, he became the pupil of Norman Wilkinson in London, finishing his studies at the Art Students League under the tutelage of Dean Cornwell. Teague was an illustrator for such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s, illustrating under both his own name and the pen name Edwin Dawes. When Teague moved to California in the late 1930’s, he specialized as a Western illustrator until Collier’s ceased publication in 1958. After finishing his career as an illustrator, Teague devoted himself to fine art.
The uniqueness of Teague’s work lies in both his own personality and in his ability to transmit himself into the painting, to interpret in watercolor what he saw and felt when he discovered the subject of the painting. Rarely, if you returned to the spot and the moment where a Teague painting began, could you find the same image as that in the painting, a characteristic he calls “synthesis.” Teague painted “to discover something worth seeing, to call the attention of those who looked at [his] paintings to sights missed or unrealized.” To this end, one finds in Teague’s works a master’s subtlety, a rare artist who sought not to overpower his audience, but rather wished to invite his viewers into his compositions, into a calmer and less hurried place.
Contrasting with his serene works, Teague was a tireless traveler, who would never be found far from his sketchpad. Perhaps Teague’s greatest legacy is the paintings inspired by his travels abroad. Throughout his life, Teague painted in sites such as Hong Kong, China, Bali, the Bahamas, and virtually all the great cities of Western Europe.
He was a member of the National Academy of Design. In 1969, he was elected to the Cowboy Artists of America, and in 1973, Teague became a founding member of the National Academy of Western Art. During his lifetime, Teague won international recognition and numerous awards for his paintings, including five First Place Prizes from the National Academy of Western Art, both the Gold and Silver Medal Honors from the American Watercolor Society, the S.F.B. Morse Gold Medal from the National Academy of Western Art, and two Gold Medals from the Cowboy Artists of America. His work has been exhibited in major museum collections throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Royal Watercolour Society, the Peking National Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Watercolor in Mexico City, the Sydney Museum in Australia and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center.