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James Fetherolf (1925-1994)

James Fetherolf was born in Nazareth, Pennsylvania in 1925. He attended Syracuse University and then moved to California after graduation in 1949. He had always wanted to act, but after struggling to find work in that area he decided to split his time between that and a job he was offered at Twentieth Century Fox Studios as a background painter. In 1957, he went to Walt Disney Productions and later returned full time to Fox Studios.


His work was extremely detailed which made him perfect for the job.His work appeared in classic films such as "Zorro", "Polyanna", "Mary Poppins", and "Third Man on the Mountain".


After a trip to a local art gallery, he decided he could paint as well if not better than the artists producing the work he saw, and began working in fine art. He started with seascapes, which had a strong market, and landscapes soon after. These became so popular that he left the film industry to devote himself to oil painting.



Fetherolf received seven gold medals from the Franklin Mint Gallery of American Art and also was selected to paint the centerpiece work, "America! America! for the Mint's "America the Beautiful" series. His former boss Walt Disney, also has Fetherolf in his collection.


He passed away in 1994 in Camarillo, California.


Source: David Michael Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"



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