The Artist


22 April 1922: Richard Clifford Diebenkorn Jr. born to Richard Clifford Diebenkorn Sr. and Dorothy née Stephens in Portland, Oregon. When he is three, family settles in San Francisco. Diebenkorn draws frequently, an independent activity his parents support.

Diebenkorn’s maternal grandmother encourages his imagination, giving him classic books such as those by Robert Louis Stevenson with N.C. Wyeth illustrations, Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates and King Arthur series, L. Frank Baum’s Oz books illustrated by W. W. Denslow, and a postcard set of the Bayeux Tapestry.

In high school, exposed to modern artists Robert Henri and William James Glackens through Esquire magazine; Edward Hopper via a book received as a Christmas gift; Gauguin and Cézanne through W. Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence.