The work shown in this website is in honor of a rare talent, Marvin (Elmer) Weese. May the beauty and information that Elmer passed on through his work be honored here.

 Meet the Artist

Marvin (Elmer) Weese was born in CITY on DATE. In 19XX he married Myrtle Snyder, also an artist, who worked mainly in oils. Together they worked diligently to share their love of art and the beauty of art within their community. Their daughter Myrel was born in 19xx. Elmer and Myrtle lived in California until his death in 1978 and hers in 2000.

Throughout Elmer’s life, his personal and professional activities displayed his love and passion for art. In addition to his chosen career of graphic art, he shared his artwork with the community through art exhibits, founded the Members Guild, and served as president of the National Printmakers Association.

Elmer, a master of wood print art, also shared his love of art with others by being involved in a local gallery as director of the Little Gallery. Elmer’s activities amongst the art world were vast and varied. Some of the organizations with which he worked are among the following: ┬áScandinavian American Art Society of the West, Las Artistas Art Association, Sierra Madre City Hall Gallery, Laguna Art Colony.

From the time that Elmer made his first wood block at the age of 18, his works were shared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Examiner, and various local newspapers from the 1940s through the 1960s.


For fifteen years beginning in the late 1930’s, Marvin (Elmer) Weese diligently worked on a project that would combine four of his passions: Early California History; Southwestern Indian Culture; Wood Block Printing; and Photography.

His career in graphic art and printing would direct the detail, beauty, and expertise seen in each of the 38 wood block prints that would eventually complete his handmade masterpiece chronicling the early ears of California.

Elmer’s fascination with early California history grew from viewing the “Mission Play” in San Gabriel in the mid 1920’s. He was so impressed with the pictures portrayed in the play, that the idea of bringing together his love of art and words through his own handmade book seemed natural.

For the 38 block prints that illustrate early California history, Elmer cut out 160 blocks in oleum on wood and used 200 colors, mixing them fresh for every block. Each illustration required the creation of five wood blocks. Opposite the block print picture, is a 150-word description of the print, describing a part of history. 21 of the 38 prints included are of missions.