PRUETT CARTER lead me to a dead end

These illustrations, from the October, 1936 The American Magazine, were done by Pruett Alexander Carter who was born on February 9, 1891 in Lexington, Missouri and died in Los Angeles, Calfornia in 1955. They were used to illustrate a story entitled Crossroads by Kathleen Norris.

Click on image to see it larger.

He was known for doing illustrations for women’s magazines, working in mainly oil and gouache. He was also a teacher at Grand Central School of Art in New York and Chouinard Art Institute in California.

Click on image to see it larger.

I've found little else about his life other than:
He reportedly moved to California from his place of work in New York after visiting there in 1930, and worked on his art commissions through the telephone and submitted them by air express. It is stated that Carter produces oil paintings on canvas in his well-organized home and outside studios and draws inspiration from the painters Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet. (SOURCE: American Artist)
His death, however, is another matter. On December 1, 1955 in Van Nuys, California, Pruett Carter, age 64, shot and killed his wife, son, and then himself. From Find a Grave:
Illustrator Kills Wife, Son, Self
Van Nuys, California, Dec. 2. - (INS) - Police were unable today to fix a definite motive today for the tragedy in which illustrator Pruett Carter, 64, killed his wife and son and then ended his own life. Investigators assumed that Carter was despondent over ill health in the family. However, he left no notes. His wife, Mrs. Teresa Carter, 50, whom the artist married in Atlanta in 1920, and the son, Deal, 35, a cripple, had been shot as they slept. The elder Carter was slumped in death beside his son's bed. A revolver was near his outstretched hand.
To see more of Carter’s work click here, here, and here. You may glean a few more details about his professional life here.

Again, I never know where an old piece of paper will lead me.


  1. Anonymous9/19/2013

    I own a pruett Carter and look quite differently at the piece after reading about the tragedy,ones own life I can understand but not killing other people.

    1. It is incredibly sad. Hopefully you'll continue to enjoy his work and accept it for what it is. He obviously had talent and demons within.