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Antonio Sotomayor
Antonio Sotomayor Painting on Glass.jpg
Sotomayor Painting on Glass, c.1935.
Born (1902-05-13)May 13, 1902
Chulumani, Bolivia
Died February 10, 1985(1985-02-10) (aged 82)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Other names Tony Sotomayor
Alma mater Mark Hopkins Institute of Art
Years active 1923–1985
Known for Murals, Illustrations, Caricatures, Ceramics
Spouse(s) Grace Andrews Sotomayor

Antonio "Tony" Sotomayor (1902–1985) was a Bolivian-born American artist and educator, known as a painter and muralist. He also worked as a illustrator, caricaturist, designer, and ceramicist. He was nicknamed San Francisco's 'Artist Laureate'.


Antonio Sotomayor was born in May 13, 1902 in Chulumani, Bolivia to parents Celia Meza and Juan Sotomayor. He studied at Escuela de Bellas Artes in La Paz, with Belgian artist Adolf Lambert.

In 1923, Sotomayor immigrated to San Francisco. He initially working as a dishwasher at the Palace Hotel, a role that only lasted five days. While working at the Palace he learned English and he would paint caricatures of his co-workers at the hotel, eventually they made him the "artist in residence". In the 1930s he painted two murals at the Palace Hotel, in the room known as “The Pied Piper.” When he had first arrived in San Francisco he had wanted to be an architect, but over time he changed. He continued his studies at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art (now San Francisco Art Institute).

Sotomayor was an art professor at Mills College from 1942–1943. He taught art at California School of Fine Art from 1940–1950.

In 1937, he painted El Tigrero (1937) mural for the Richard Neutra designed Arthur and Mona Hofmann House in nearby Hillsborough, California. In 1939, he created murals for the Peruvian Pavilion and the Fountain of the Pacific Bash, (a 36 foot by 46 foot, terracotta relief map) for the Panama–Pacific International Exposition (PPIE).

For over a decade, he was a member of the San Francisco Arts Commission and received their "Award of Honor" in 1978.

He had a strong interest in religious art. In the early 1980s, Sotomayor painted a 30-panel mural for Grace Cathedral. Sotomayor was a member of San Francisco Art Association; The Family; and Bohemian Club.

Sotomayor died on February 10, 1985 at San Francisco Community Hospice, after a battle with cancer. His work is included in various public museum collections including Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum of Modern Art, among others.

Personal life

He was married to Grace Andrews Sotomayor in 1927, they never had any children. For forty years they lived in the Nob Hill neighborhood on Leroy Place in San Francisco.

Books with illustrations by Sotomayor.

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