Robert Watson ~ An American Artist


Robert Watson (1923 - 2004), was born in Martinez, Ca. Often referred to as a surrealist and a neo-romanticist, Watson was largely a self-taught artist.

In the early 1940s, Robert spent several years in New York City studying the works of the old masters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other museums. He later spent eight weeks studying with Frederick Taubes at the University of Wisconsin before moving to Berkeley, where he lived for many years. Influenced by the likes of Guardi, Titian and Canaletto, Watson favored a technique developed by Venetian masters; the underlying of hot color with cold color, and vice versa.

Robert got his first significant notoriety in 1947 with a one-man show at Gump's in San Francisco. Quickly gaining national recognition, his works appeared in galleries in London, France, New York, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Greece, Hong Kong, Brazil, Israel and Venice. Museums included Brigham Young University, Max Planck Institute, Hearst Collection and The California Palace of the Legion of Honor, which was particularly dear to Robert. Private Collectors have included Norman Cousins, Clark Gable, Ray Bradbury, Armand Hammer, Dominik Hasek, Howard Hughes, Vincent Price, Burt Reynolds, Ed Sullivan, JD Zellerbach and The Duchess of Windsor. Robert painted the cover art for the 1953 edition of Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles".

Robert Watson was always well-known and loved in the Bay area. In 1997, on the occasion of Mr. Watson's 50-year retrospective at Weinstein Galleries, Mayor Willie Brown proclaimed May 17 as "Robert Watson Day". Watson was a very generous man, often donating his works to organizations and people whom he cared for or who had helped him along the way.

Robert himself was work of art, with so many facets and layers. Like art itself, Robert must be taken as a whole body of work, and not piecemeal. Only then can you acheive a true appreciation of him as a man and a truly remarkable artist. I hope that all of those who knew him can join together here and create that body of work that is the "Book of Watson". It is a fitting tribute to a man who did so much for others himself.


This site has undergone a rebirth over the last few months, and here are some of the improvements;

The Discussion area offers a "forum-style" experience, making posting and following conversations much easier. You can post here by signing up for a free membership. This is a great place to share stories, ask questions and learn more about Robert Watson.

The Marketplace for buying and selling Robert Watson artwork has been completely redesigned for a richer experience and faster loading images. If you are interested in buying or Selling Watson art, there is no commission on sales, and no buyer fees. Though there is now a very small listing fee, it eliminates expired ads and ensures that posted Ads are legitimate.

We have added several articles to the Watson History section as well, with more to come. If you have any articles, etc. that you would like to share, we have included an uploads page where you can send them to us. In return, we will give you credits for free listings in the Marketplace, or perhaps some Ad space on the site.

PLEASE, feel free to contact me with any feedback or suggestions - I am always very receptive to your input!

Welcome Back Watson's Army! 

~ David Fedeli
My Online Gallery

Photo of the day

The Arch

In the Marketplace

Watson Galleries

Unknown 1940s
Unknown 1950s
 Return  1960s
Untitled 1970s
By the Shore 1980s
Outward Bound III 1990s
Portal Guardians 2000s