Also known as:
Millard Sheets enjoyed a long and successful career as a painter, teacher, administrator, muralist, and designer. Sheets was an important figure in the art circles of Southern California for more than 60 years. An artist of many interests, he was active as a painter in watercolor and oil, an architectural and interior designer, and a muralist in fresco and tile. He was a progressive director of art at Scripps College and Claremeont Graduate School (1938-1955), both in Claremont, California, and then at Otis Art Institute (1955-1962) in Los Angeles. As a popular teacher, Sheets was influential in shaping the developing art scene of the region. During the mid-1930s he was also a member of the committee which, through Franklin Roosevelt's Public Works of Art program, organized, selected, and directed the regional activities of the government sponsored project. A busy exhibition schedule across the country provided the foundations of Sheets' national profile.
A variety of opportunities allowed Sheets to experience the diversity of different lives and landscapes around the world. His war-time job as artist correspondent for Life magazine in 1943-44 took him to China, Burma, and India; work for the US Department of State found him in Turkey and Russia in 1960-61; heading workshops and university-affiliated programs led to further travel across the globe, including Hawaii. A summer spent on Oahu teaching at the University of Hawaii introduced Sheets the the islands' lush tropical beauty and rich cultural heritage. This sojourn of 1935 led to numerous excursions to the islands through the 1970s, including a year's residency on the Kona coast in 1950-51.
Sheets' connection with Hawaii is also marked by special commissions, including his tile mosaic on the Rainbow Tower at Hilton Hawaiian Village and a series of watercolor depictions of Waikiki for United Airlines.