October 17, 2013Mystery Solved : Vintage Hawaii Floral Picture Finally Identified as a Ted Mundorff Original Print
By Sara In AZ
Some of you may remember last February I posted about a vintage Hawaii picture I had found at the thrift store, but was having trouble figuring out who the artist actually was. Well thanks to you, our lovely blog community, I FINALLY have an answer!
This picture had me confused right down to what the subject matter was…..and then not knowing who the artist was had me doubly confused!
I originally thought this was a lily, but thanks to our FAB readers it was identified as an orchid……yes, you can tell that I am a huge plant and flower dunce, so thank you to all who chimed in! I appreciate it!
But there was still that nagging “who did this signature belong to” question floating around my mind. I searched Muriel Ott, Muriel Ortt, Muriel Orff and any variation of that with the word ‘Hawaii’……I contacted different organizations familiar with art like this in an effort to gain knowledge of who this artist was……I would do blind Google searches for ‘vintage Hawaii pictures’ to see if pictures like this came up in the images – to no avail. Months passed, still no answer.
It was still nagging at me…who was this artist? I thought with the picture being hand signed and looking so professional it HAD to mean something…..but what? Who?????
Well, here is the thing – we all mistakenly thought that signature was a first and last name, it wound up being the artists last name only……and thanks to No Pattern Required reader Bob O Link we now know the artist is Ted Mundorff.
Whoo to the Hooo……..I am SO happy to finally know after all of this time!
So of course that set me off to find out as much as I could about the artist Ted Mundorff!
Here is what I found out from the Art Gallery – Worldwide website:
Born in Pennsylvania in 1910, Ted Mundorff traveled as a child to Hawaii, where he was educated at the prestigious private school of Punaho in Honolulu. Upon graduation, he returned to the mainland and painted cars for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, before moving to Los Angeles, where he designed greeting cards for Hallmark.
Returning to Hawaii in 1936, he started a career as painter, illustrator, and cartoonist, eventually opening his “Hawaiian Pallet” studio in Honolulu.
Mundorff earned respect as an artist whose interpretations of local tropical flowers are as popular today as they were at the time of their creation. Like so many talents of the time, he employed the then new and revolutionary airbrush technique to achieve the soft blends and beautiful tonal shading that medium affords, and he perfected it as his own.
Ted Mundorff died in November 1969, leaving a legacy of romantic botanical studies that are eagerly sought after today by a new generation of collectors.
Here is a picture of Ted Mundorff from the Art Gallery – Worldwide site.
And that brings me to one more point I was wrong about in regards to this picture – I thought it was done in chalk pastels….as you can see it was airbrushed. Oh boy, I couldn’t have been MORE wrong about everything concerning this picture could I ?! eeps!!!
ART.COM has a large selection of Mundorff reprint posters for sale.
And, I even managed to find these original Mundorff pictures for sale from Modernaire.
I really, really love my Ted Mundorff orchid picture and I am so glad I found it that day….you just never, ever know what you are going to find at the thrifts!
And I have to say one last big giant ‘Thank You’ (again) to all of our readers who are so helpful and kind with their comments…we could not do this without you!