Alva James LaToor (1909-1958)
Aliases: Al LaToor
Alva James LaToor (Indiana, 1909-1958) Landscape, Watercolor,
Al LaToor: Indiana Landscape with Cornshocks
Al LaToor: Bean Blossom Covered Bridge with Figure
Attrib to Al LaToor 11x12 WC Two African Americans
Alva James LaToor Biography
Alva James LaToor was born March 6, 1908, in Orange County, Indiana. At an early age, Al LaToor left his Oklahoma home to join his sister, Onya, in Seattle, Washington. Later he got an itch to join traveling shows where he played his banjo while touring the country. He decided to settle for a while in Rollo, Missouri where he found work as a leather cutter in a shoe factory. It is here that he met his wife, Ruth Gaddy.
The newly married LaToors moved to Los Angeles where Al began studying art under A.F. Bredz who had a prominent part in applying his art in the interior of the Mormon Temple at Salt Lake City.
Al made several painting trips to the Ozarks to study with the prominent watercolorist, Oliver J. Corbett. Following this experience, he worked almost exclusively with watercolors.
For nearly fifteen years, Al had lost track of his sister Onya. The desire to reconnect with Onya led him to an advertisement in “The Indianapolis Star”
which publicized Onya LaTour’s Museum of Modern Art not far from Pike’s Peak in Brown County. This familial connection brought the LaToors to Brown County where they opened a business in their home featuring Al’s paintings plus various antiques and crafts.
A member of the Hoosier Salon Patrons’ Association, the Brown County art Guild and the Indiana Artists’ Association. His paintings hang in many homes, libraries and hospitals. Also in the Dailey collection in the Indiana University Auditorium..
“The Republic” of Columbus, Indiana included the following in a 1968 story of Latoor’s Paintings:
“Although Mr. LaToor worked in other media, his favorite was watercolor. He was frequently seen along the streets of Nashville painting while tourists watched him work. He traveled extensively and his paintings were actually ‘done on the spot.’ His love of nature and honest approach lead the late Walter Whitworth, Indianapolis critic, to say in 1956, ‘LaToor paintings are easy to live with.’”
Al Latoor died in Franklin, Indiana on June 30th, 1958.
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Alva James LaToor
Al LaToor (1908-1958)