William Wendt (1865-1947) – Nature Undefiled by Will South, Ph.D., California Art Club Newsletter, Winter 2008
In 1911, William Wendt was elected as president of the California Art Club, and, in many ways, he represented the essential nature of California Impressionism both stylistically and ideologically. No other California Impressionist so consistently essayed the sweeping, romantic grand landscape view as Wendt or painted them nearly so well, and no other painter so strongly equated his work with the ideology of Nature as Creation, and Nature as a spiritual path. Wendt was sincere and straightforward in his aesthetic pronouncements. Dapper, distinguished, and much admired by his followers in the Club, Wendt functioned as a visible example of what an artist should aspire to be. His ongoing career summarized the nineteenth century idealism that was the foundation of early twentieth-century painting in the Southland.