Sanford Darling, House of a 1000 Paintings

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About the Artist/Site

Sanford Darling was born in Santa Barbara, California. After service in World War I he worked as a Hollywood stuntman, a commercial fisherman, a chiropractor, and as an engineer for General Petroleum. After 25 years at GP, he retired in 1959. When his wife died shortly thereafter, Darling embarked on two extended trips to Europe and the Far East, the latter on a tramp steamer.

Upon his return to Santa Barbara in 1963, he began to relive his adventures; and although he had never before painted, at age 68 he began recreating small scenes of the places he had visited. By the end of that first day, working with a three-inch brush and a can of green semi-gloss enamel, Darling had covered one wall of his home with remembered scenes. He continued with other bright colors and other brushes, hanging the paintings on the walls of his home. When he ran out of room, he began covering the floors, furniture, rugs, and even the appliances. He then turned to exterior of the house, nailing his work there, and then painted the screens, walls, eaves, and doors with scenes from his childhood, palm trees with tropical huts, castles along the Rhine, snow-capped mountains, and other vignettes.

By the time of his death in 1973, Darling had been painting for ten years and had produced over 1,000 paintings. His art environment was disassembled, and paintings and other objects from the house were sold to private collectors.

~Jo Farb Hernández


SPACES Archive Holdings

Collection size: .5 linear feet (1972- )

2 folders: clippings, correspondence, images, pamphlets


Map and site information

Not Exact Address
Santa Barbara, California, United States
Latitude/Longitude: 34.410802 / -119.700696


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