When Midwest born American Modernist Theodore Czebotar died in 1996, he left behind more than 60 years worth of oils, watercolors, pastels and sketches. As his extended family grappled with the immensity of their unexpected inheritance, a niece dug deeper into the life of the uncle she hardly knew. What she discovered was that the man once dubbed “art’s newest name” who was, the New Yorker reported, “making something of an artistic sensation here,” was, in fact, both drawn to and repulsed by the rewards and demands of professional acclaim.
Talented, driven, compulsive and prolific, the artist ultimately found refuge in a small home/studio hidden in the hills of the Hudson Valley. There, with his wife Elsa Snapper, an exuberant but fragile Dutch-born designer who struggled with the solitude her husband craved, Czebotar lived steeped in both the pleasures and pains of artistic independence.
As time and isolation took a toll on his marriage, the artist found consolation in the primordial landscape of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. There, on rugged, rainswept beaches, the stubborn resolve of driftwood formations became a fitting metaphor for both the enduring but difficult union of two creative people and the life of a twentieth century American artist determined to transpose the world around him into his own mysterious realm.
In Hidden Treasure, Hamilton details the life and times of the Theodore Czebotar. Hidden Treasure: The Life and Art of Theodore Czebotar is a winner in the biography category of the Midwest Book Awards by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association, and is now available on Amazon.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patricia Hamilton spent more than 20 years as an executive in the communications field for a major American corporation. However, like her uncle, her greatest satisfaction has been found in the unruly and rebellious.