Emax, art and Idyllwild

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Untitled (1970), Ernie Maxwell, belongs to Idyllwild Arts Academy Krone Museum

Ernie Maxwell, Idyllwild Town Crier newspaper founder with his wife Betty, discovered an environment in Idyllwild in which to express his many talents, impressing his spirit permanently on the community. In addition to writing, cartooning, hiking, snake killing, philosophizing, humoring folk and cavorting around the mountains, Ernie was a sculptor, potter and oil painter.

In the 1950s, Ernie became involved with the new Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, joining the Associates of ISOMATA and the Idyllwild Arts Foundation board, and teaching summer classes there in art and conservation.

Self-portrait with Betty Maxwell (1973), belongs to Idyllwild Area Historical Society

Born a century ago this year in 1911, he received a Sacramento Junior College art scholarship, and earned an art and philosophy bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. An old college friend, Ted Keys, went on to create the “Mabel” cartoon still syndicated throughout the U.S.

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