Alvin Gittins (Alvin Gittins)

Alvin Gittins

Artist. He is best remembered for being the chairman of the Art Department at the University of Utah, and was the artist-in-residence.  He was an early leader in the recently emerging trend of realism in artwork.  Born in Kidderminster, Worcester, England, he came to the United States in 1946 to study, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University in 1947.  Upon graduation, he was appointed to the University of Utah art department faculty as an instructor.  From 1956 to 1962, he was the chair of the University of Utah Art Department, along with an appointment as the artist-in-residence.  Gittins once described himself as a representational painter, dealing almost exclusively with the human figure and with character studies.  Gittins was at the forefront of a new emerging style of realistic artwork, one that challenged the established previous form of French Impressionism that abandoned tradition while allowing artists their own personal style of realism.  Gittins always depicted his subjects with a convincing realism in a setting that helped to define their character.  During his career, he tried pastels, oils, watercolors, charcoals, and pencil in experimenting with the various forms of realistic art.  As University of Utah artist-in-residence, he has painted over 80 portraits of University of Utah administrators, professors and benefactors.  He has also painted portraits of celebrities, civic leaders, and leaders of the LDS church.  His works have been exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists in London, at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, and at Stanford University.  He died in Salt Lake City, Utah. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)  Family links:  Spouse:  Gayle Olsen Gittins (1929 – 1994)*  Children:  Simon Gittins (1951 – 1989)* *Calculated relationship


  • January, 17, 1922


  • March, 03, 1981


  • Park City Cemetery
  • Utah
  • USA

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