Taro Yamamoto

American, 1919 - 1993

Untitled, 1957, oil on canvas, 50 x 70 inches

Untitled, 1958, oil on canvas, 50 x 70 inches

Untitled, 1954, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 inches

Untitled, 1954, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 inches

watercolor works on handmade paper below


Taro Yamamoto’s prolific career began at a young age. By the age of ten, he was already painting landscapes and still lifes in oil, and had won numerous prizes in exhibitions at school.

Yamamoto was born in Hollywood, California in 1919, but was taken to live and study in Japan when he was six. His parents wanted him to receive a traditional Japanese education as he was descended from a long line of Shinto priests. Yamamoto remained there until he was 19 years old, then returned to the United States and studied cubism at Los Angeles City College.

From 1941-1946, Yamamoto served in the U.S. Army. He then went back to painting, studying at Santa Monica City College where he made an award winning painting that was later presented to the Methodist Church in West L.A.

Like many of his significant peers from that time, Yamamoto studied at the Art Students’ League in New York, working under Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Morris Kantor, Vaclav Vytlacil and Byron Browne. He subsequently received a scholarship from the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, and began studying there in 1952. That same year, Yamamoto received the John Sloan Memorial Fellowship. The following year he won the Edward G. McDowell Traveling Fellowship and spent a year painting and studying in Europe. Yamamoto also spent periods of time at the McDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire in 1954, 1956 and 1957.

He lived out his days in Provincetown, Massachusetts, with his wife and his son.