Theme/Style – Modernism, figurative work, landscapes, illustration, murals
Media – Watercolors, gouache, ink, pastels, printmaking
Artistic Focus – Though Barbara Thomas Haddaway had a lower profile than many of her contemporaries, she was a serious, multifaceted and very talented artist. Her design sense and her use of color and composition were quite sophisticated, and lent themselves to her illustration work, where she was able to capture two important events in Southern California in the 1930s – the Los Angeles Olympic Games and the California Pacific International Exposition – with style and elegance.
Career Highlights –
- Born Dorothy Barbara Thomas in Lawrence, Kansas in 1902, Barbara Haddaway and her family settled in California in the early 1920s, and during the late 1920s she attended Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. She signed her work “Barbara Thomas” until her marriage to John Haddaway in 1932, after which she used her married name on her artwork.
- During the 1930s and into the 1940s, Haddaway maintained a studio in her Los Angeles home, and her work as a commercial artist included a position as designer/illustrator for Bullock’s department store, where one of her designs was a set of large panels depicting Christmas around the world.
- As an illustrator, Haddaway (as Barbara Thomas) depicted the various sporting events at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games in a series of pastels.
- Haddaway went on to create illustrations that chronicled the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego, where she also exhibited murals.
- Haddaway’s husband, John Haddaway, developed and tested early sonar equipment during World War II, which took the couple to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the early 1940s. There Barbara continued her artistic pursuits, and also shared her knowledge of interior decorating, window design and illustration in presentations for local organizations.
- They returned to California in 1947, settling in the Mammoth Lakes area, where they built a home.
- Wherever she resided, Barbara Haddaway would have a home studio and was an active member of not only local art circles, but her community as a whole: A lifelong lover of nature, Haddaway and her husband launched a campaign to gain National Monument status for the Mono-Inyo Crater Chain.
- Barbara Haddaway passed away in Bishop, California in 1992.
Bibliographic references are available upon request.