William Addison Campbell Jr. (June 18, 1914 – July 10, 1985)
The late Mr. Campbell was born in New York City and moved with his mother to San Francisco as a boy. He studied at the California School of Fine Arts (now the SF Art Instute) in the mid 1930’s and was an instructor at the California College of Arts and Crafts in the ’40’s. He exhibited in the San Francisco Bay Area including the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1935, the museum’s inaugural year, following with two one-man shows there in the early 1940’s. During WWII he served in the U.S. Navy being Honorably discharged in 1945. After the war he returned to San Francisco teaching at the CCAC where he met Frank Brown, a post WWII student there. They formed a partnership that lasted 40 years until Mr. Campbell died in 1985. Because of Mr. Brown’s dispute with a San Francisco art critic in the late ’50’s, Mr. Campbell also withdrew from the formal art community. One of his last paintings was a small self portrait with a full white beard and tam o’shanter reflecting his Scottish heritage. The forthcoming book of he and Mr. Brown’s work will contain a color photograph of all known paintings by the artists including those displayed here.
Frank Julian Brown (Nov. 2, 1921 – April 16, 2000)
The late Mr. Brown was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, of Dutch and Danish stock. After high school he worked as a commercial artist in a Portland print shop. During WWII he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served in the Pacific from September of 1942 until 1946 when he was Honorably discharged. After the war he moved to San Francisco and studied at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) and the California College of Arts and Crafts where he met William Campbell. He traveled and painted with Mr. Campbell in Mexico in the late 1940’s and early ’50’s. A man of few words, Mr. Brown was in contrast to Mr. Campbell, fiercely private. During the 1960’s he exhibited at shows in the San Francisco Bay Area where he clashed with a local newspaper critic. As a result he withdrew from the formal art community but continued to paint. He died in April of 2000 in his and Mr. Campbell’s Victorian home on San Francisco’s Dolores Heights that he lived in for 45 years, 30 with Mr. Campbell. He left behind over 500 paintings, hundreds of drawings, a handful of sculptures, jewelry, stained glass, dolls, and hand made quilts. His work and Mr. Campbell’s will appear in a forthcoming book of their art to be published in late 2007.