Jean Charlot
1898 - 1979
View Art by Jean Charlot


Jean Charlot was born in France in the 1880's.  He had Aztec ancestors and moved with his mother to Mexico after studying at the Ecole de Beaux arts in Paris and serving as an artillery officer at the end of WWI.  He quickly established himself in the art community of Mexico City in the very early 1920's and befriended Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros and Jose Orozco, main figures in the Mexican Mural movement of the early twenties that quickly spread to the USA.

Charlot and the others visited the USA and taught - mostly in New York City - the true fresco technique, which Charlot taught to the other Mexican muralists.  In 1947, Jean Charlot moved his family to Colorado Springs, Colorado to take over as head of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Art School from which Boardman Robinson had just retired.  He also taught at the private school for boys in Colorado Springs, The Fountain Valley School.

Charlot resigned from the Fountain Valley School over a dispute involving tenure and other differences of opinion with the administration of the Art Center. 

In the 1930s and 1940s Charlot taught art at numerous universities around the country.

In 1949, he moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was a professor of art at the University of Hawaii. Between the years of 1949–1979, Charlot produced more than 600 easel paintings, 700 prints, and 36 works of art in fresco, ceramic, and tiles for public sites. Wherever Charlot found himself, he drew upon his environment and surrounding culture for inspiration, assimilating those new elements into his art and reflecting the world around him.

During his life, Jean Charlot made an enormous impression on those around him; and most certainly on the surroundings which he painted with passion unbridled.  Charlot died in Honolulu on March 20, 1979.