John Hilton was born on September 9, 1904 in Carrington, North Dakota, the son of itinerant missionaries. Hilton moved to Los Angeles in 1918 and worked for a gem company. During the 1930s he operated a curio shop in the desert and began painting. John became a highly competent painter from association and sketching trips with Maynard Dixon, Nicolai Fechin, Jimmy Swinnerton, and Clyde Forsythe. Among the books he wrote and illustrated are: Sonora Sketch Book (1947), This is My Desert (1962), and Hilton Paints the Desert (1964). His illustrations appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Saturday Evening Post, Desert Magazine, and others. John William Hilton’s first solo exhibition was held in Palm Springs, CA in 1935; he subsequently had over 100 solo shows nationally. As well as an artist, he was also a poet and musician. Most of his life was spent as a resident of Twentynine Palms, CA. During the last decade of his life, Hilton maintained a second home in Maui, Hawaii.
John Hitlon biography generously provided courtesy of EDAN HUGHES.