Tyree: Artist of the South Pacific (Hardcover)

Tyree: Artist of the South Pacific By CJ Cook Cover Image

Tyree: Artist of the South Pacific (Hardcover)


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Double Gold Medal Winner: The Benjamin Franklin Awards for Best Biography and Best CoverThe World War II US Marine-turned-painter who helped popularize South Pacific and Tiki art and later the plight of endangered species

Raised in Central California, American artist Ralph Burke Tyree was the most prolific portrait artist of the South Pacific peoples of the twentieth century. After studying art at the California College of the Arts (Oakland), Tyree joined the Marines seven weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He soon shipped off to Samoa.

There, Private Tyree was befriended by his Commanding General and became the Marine base’s artist. His portrait career began with painting the officers and their loved ones.

He began his post-military career by returning to the South Pacific to live in places such as Guam, Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island of Hawaii. He also traveled Palau, Fiji, Tahiti, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands over his thirty-year career.

Most of his early works were sensual island wahines in island beach and jungle settings. He painted primarily with oil on board but also occasionally on canvas and with pastels. To add depth and texture to his work, mid-career Tyree switched to painting with oil on fine French silk and black velvet. This was in the midst of the 1960’s Tiki revolution; many of his nude pieces were displayed in Tiki bars and restaurants. Tyree was likely the most prolific South Pacific and Tiki artist of the twentieth century.

In the 1970s, Tyree began painting endangered species to call attention to their limited numbers. He died of a heart attack at age fifty-seven in 1979.

Tyree was a dreamer who painted idealized women in idyllic South Pacific landscapes, the faces of wizened island men, and endangered species. His portraiture, whether of humans or animals, captured their quiet, gentle spirit.

CJ Cook is an author and historian, who has a long interest in the history of South Pacific. He has written many articles including publishing biographical sketches on historical figures. Cook is a lifelong manuscript collector who has special interest in art, poetry, Hawaii and the South Pacific. He is a board member of a prominent manuscript association, dedicated to preserving manuscripts, historical documents and the written word. He also is a collector of art and artists of the South Pacific including Ralph Burke Tyree, Edgar Leeteg, Edithe Beutler, Madge Tennent, Cece Rodriguez, and William Bloom. Some of the pieces illustrated in this biography are from the author’s collection. And finally he has and continues to explore the South Pacific including: Guam, Pohnpei, Truk, Palau, Bali, Tahiti and its surrounding islands, New Zealand, Australia and its Great Barrier Reef, Taiwan, and the Hawaiian Islands. The latter paradise he visits multiple times a year.
Product Details ISBN: 9780998422404
ISBN-10: 0998422401
Publisher: South Pacific Dreams Publishing
Publication Date: June 15th, 2017
Pages: 224
Language: English