Artist Biography

William S. RICE
1873 - 1963

William Seltzer Rice (1873-1963), an etcher, painter, and printmaker was born on June 23, 1873 in Manheim, Pennsylvania where his family had a carriage-painting business. He began drawing at an early age and had art lessons from itinerant artists. At age twenty he enrolled at the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia and took classes from Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute. He worked as a staff artist for the Philadelphia Times until 1901 when he was offered a job in California as supervisor of art in the Stockton public schools. He remained in that position for ten years and then became head of the art departments at Alameda High School, Fremont High School (1919-30), Oakland's Castlemont High School (1930-40), and University of California Extension (1932-43). While teaching, he earned a batchelor of fine arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts and taught summer classes at that school. Rice produced a number of watercolors of the Tahoe area before 1915; however, at the Panama Pacific International Exposition he was exposed to Japanese prints which impressed him deeply and changed the course of his future work. Wood block and linoleum prints then became his forte. He retired from teaching in the public schools in the 1940s but continued accepting invitations to teach and exhibit for the next 15 years. He died at his Oakland home on August 27, 1963. He was author of Block Prints: How to Make Them and Block Printing in the School. Member: San Francisco Art Ass'n; California Society of Printmakers; California Society of Etchers; Oakland Art League; Pacific Art Ass'n; Bay Region Ass'n. Exhibited: Pennsylvania Museum of Industrial Art, 1904 (prize); California Society of Etchers from 1912; Panama Pacific International Exposition, 1915; San Francisco Art Ass'n, 1916, 1925; Santa Cruz Art League, 1934; Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939; Library of Congress, 1943. Works held: California College of Arts and Crafts; National Museum of American Art (Washington, DC); Boston Public Library; Library of Congress; New York Public Library; California State Library.

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