Personality Portraits

Paintings by Robert Baird in the late 1950s

Robert Baird was born in Portland in 1913. He showed an interest in art at a young age and went to Morgan Dean Art Institute in Oakland, California, to study commercial art. He also took classes at the California School of Fine Art in San Francisco. 

Robert Baird on Kenny’s Food baseball team. ca. 1950s

During the WW2 his three brothers were in the service and he worked seven years at Bethlehem Steel in San Francisco. After the war he and his wife, Dorothy, moved to Delake where his sister lived. Robert did many different jobs, primarily as a carpenter. He became a businessman, starting the Cozy Cove Motel and a service station in Delake.

Baird’s Service Station

Robert was active at the Delake Art Center, which is now called the Pacific Artists’ Coop next to the Cultural Center. These portraits were painted by Robert while taking a portrait painting class taught by renowned artist, Maude Wanker. The folks that came in to model were some of the local personalities around town. In the gallery below you will find information and newspaper articles on each model that Robert painted in the late 1950s. These portraits are also on display at the museum in our Anne Hall Gallery. This online exhibit also includes four portraits of unidentified women also painted by Robert Baird. Please let us know if you recognize any of these unidentified portraits. Click to enlarge each portrait and associated images.