William Lees Judson (William Lees Judson)

William Lees Judson

Artist. Judson moved to the United States with his parents when he was ten years old. After serving four years with the Illinois volunteers during the American Civil War, he studied art in New York and Paris and settled in London, Ontario, Canada where he became a successful portrait painter and art teacher. In 1893, Judson settled in the Garvanza section of Los Angeles and switched from portrait painting to landscapes. Soon after his arrival, he was at the forefront of the Arroyo Guild of Craftsmen, an influential group of artists, sculptors and architects who fueled Southern California’s Arts and Crafts Movement. Judson saw the need for a local stained glass studio and in 1895, he persuaded three of his sons, Walter, Lionel and Paul, to come to Los Angeles to join him in starting a stained glass studio. The family initially opened its business under the name Colonial Art Glass Co. and changed the name to Judson Studios in 1897. Stained glass made by the studios can be found in locations throughout Southern California, such as Hollyhock House in Hollywood, the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, Chapel One at Edwards Air Force Base, St. James Episcopal Church in South Pasadena, All Saints Church in Pasadena and Mountain View Mausoleum in Altadena. Examples of their work can also be seen at The Congressional Prayer Room at the U.S. Capitol, Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco and Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine in Florida. Over its first century of operation, the Judson Studios produced more than 10,000 stained-glass works. In 1896, Judson was offered a professorship in drawing and painting at the University of Southern California. In the late 1890s, he founded the Los Angeles College of Fine Arts at his home in Garvanza . In 1901, Judson’s art college became USC’s College of Fine Arts, with Judson serving as dean from 1901 until his retirement in 1922. He died at his home in the studio building in October 1928. (bio by: Louis M.)  Family links:  Children:  John Lionel Judson (1881 – 1947)* *Calculated relationship


  • April, 01, 1842
  • England


  • October, 10, 1928
  • USA


  • Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum
  • California
  • USA

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