William Clothier Watts, primarily a watercolor artist, was born in Philadelphia, PA August 6, 1867, and died in Carmel CA, May 13, 1961. Watts' family was engaged in the import of ivory and rare woods.
Watts began painting at an early age and by the age of 18 he had exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) where he studied under T. Anshutz, R. Vonnoh and G. Essig. From 1889 to 1946 his artwork was exhibited at the PAFA Annual Exhibitions no less than 25 times. He also exhibited at: the California State Fair where he received first prizes five times; the Carmel Art Association in 1946, 1952 and 1967; at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915 (silver medal); at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939; at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1923-25, 1929; and many other venues.
Watts settled in Carmel, CA. in 1915. He bought property there and built a house/studio in Carmel Highlands overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He was an early and active member of the Carmel Art Association. He was a teacher, exhibitor and participated as a judge for many exhibits of the Carmel art colony.
Watts traveled and painted throughout the world. His journeys included North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt), the Mediterranean (Greece, Syria, Jordan, Palestine), the Balkans (Bosnia, Serbia, Dalmatia) , Northern Europe (Norway), Asia (China, India, Burma) and other exotic places. He did extensive work in the Carmel and Big Sur areas, Arizona, New Mexico and other Southwest and East Coast regions. His vibrant landscapes of the places he visited capture the essence of the subject matter and constitute a valuable record of significant historical and geographic sites.
In addition to the Carmel AA, Watts was a member of the Philadelphia Sketch Club, the Philadelphia WC Club and the California WC Society. Several museums have his paintings in their collections.