Magnolias, Kauai, Hawaii, circa 1935-40
Leo Lloyd Sexton, Jr., (1912-1990)
Oil on Canvas/Board
14.5″ x 17.5″
Great Provenance!

Native-born Hawaiian Lloyd Sexton was an oil painter and sculptor who is known primarily for his landscapes and detailed depictions of tropical flowers. Perhaps a lifelong familiarity with the natural beauty of Hawaii gave Sexton his keen eye for detail and color.

Sexton was born in Hilo in 1912 and studied at Punahou School. From there he went to the Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1931, received a Cummings travel scholarship and studied at the Slade School at the University of London, where he received first prize for a life drawing. He was additionally honored to have a floral painting exhibited at the Royal Academy in London. Sexton stayed in Europe for several years, traveling and painting.

Returning to Hawaii in 1937, Sexton became a beloved figure, admired for his “meticulous and elegant style.” He had had his first solo exhibition of floral works in 1933 in Honolulu, and this was followed by many subsequent solo shows in Hawaii. A second painting, the portrait “Nanea,” was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1939. 
Between the years 1933-1941, however, Sexton was primarily absorbed with painting for a national advertising campaign conducted by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now known as Dole Pineapple). In addition to Pierre Roy, Isamu Noguchi, and Georgia O’Keefe, Sexton was commissioned to provide art for magazine layouts touting the joys of pineapples and pineapple juice in tropical settings. His paintings “Aloha,” “Exotic,” and “Hauoli” all result from this commission.

In later years Sexton remained active in the art community, becoming a member of the Hawaiian Painters and Sculptors League and its president in 1960. He died in Honolulu in March 1990.

Sources include: WWAA; Forbes: Encounters With Paradise.

By Sarah Nelson