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Gordon Coutts 1868 - 1937
Gordon Coutts, Upper Toulumne Sundown, a mountain stream with towering Sierra snow capped peaks in the background lighted by the setting sun
Upper Tuolumne Sundown
Gordon Coutts, Grazing Below Mount Tamalpais
Grazing below Mount Tamalpais
Gordon Coutts, San Jacinto Morning
San Jacinto Morning
Gordon Coutts Photo
Photo portrait of Gordon Coutts

Gordon Coutts was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1868. He was a successful painter on four continents: Europe, Africa, North America and Australia. For a time, he called the San Francisco Bay Area home.

He began his studies in his native Glasgow, and continued at the Julian Academy in Paris.

His wife, Alice Gray was born in Surrey, England in 1879 but spent some of her youth when her family moved to Northern California. She studied with Grace Carpenter Hudson in Ukiah and, like her teacher, is known for her paintings of Indian children. She moved to Australia with her parents, and then traveled to study in Paris.

Portrait of Alice Coutts
done by Gordon Coutts in Paris in 1912
private collection

In Paris, Gordon met and married fellow art student Alice (Gray). After studies in Paris, the couple moved to Alice's home in Melbourne, Australia. The couple lived and worked in both Melbourne and Sydney for several years.

Gordon taught at the Art Society of New South Wales in Sydney. After some successes in Australia, he exhibited in the Royal Academy in London. Soon afterward, he and Alice moved to San Francisco. They lived in the East Bay Hills, building their home in Piedmont. Gordon was active in Bay Area artistic circles and was a member of San Francisco's Bohemian Club.

When Alice divorced Gordon in 1918, he traveled to North Africa where he some exotic landscapes of the desert and its people.

In 1925, Coutts contracted tuberculosis and moved to Palm Springs, He built a desert Moroccan castle for himself, modeled in the motif of castles he had known in Tangiers and named it "Dar Marroc." His home was frequented by celebrities, including Rudolph Valentino, Errol Flynn and Sir Winston Churchill. He painted there with guest artists Nicolai Fechin and Grant Wood.

Gordon Coutts died in Palm Springs in 1937. Alice died in Piedmont, California in 1973.

Today, "Dar Marroc" is an historic hotel named Korakia.



Source: Askart, http://www.gordoncoutts.com, Korakia Hotel website, http://www.Korakia.com.