Paul Detlefsen born in Chicago in 1900. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute and the Academy of Fine Arts, and then he went to Hollywood California where he paintined backdrops for films. He joined Warner Brothers to work on "Cabin in the Cotton" with Bette Davis and Richard Barthelmes. He stayed with the company twenty years and over those years he and Walt Disney became good friends. He was in the film industry for thirty years.
When he was 50 years old, he tried his hand as a calendar artist. His first painting, "The Good Old Days", scored an immediate success and was topped in popularity only by Norman Rockwell's Boy Scout Calendar by Brown & Bigelow.
Paul Detlefsen's work can best be described as illustrative or definitive landscape painting. Although the settings and subjects are strictly figments of his imagination, he traveled all over the United States taking color photos for reference, then created the kinds of landscapes most Americans can identify with. His blend of beautiful scenery with nostalgic elements, like horse-drawn wagons and blacksmith shops, depicts the American landscape of the "good old days".
Paul Detlefsen painted up to six months prior to his death on August 1, 1986 at age 86.
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