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1930-12-15 K.C. Times
1950 St. Louis Cardinal
1936-12 Mystery Advs.
1959-07 Ford Times
1937-01 Mystery Advs.
1961 Portrait
1937-02 Mystery Advs.
1937-03 Mystery Advs.
1937-05 Mystery Advs.
























Alvin Theodore Pearson was born on July 9, 1901 in Kansas City, Missouri. His father, John G. Pearson, was born in 1868 in Sweden. His mother, Engla Pearson, was born in 1871 in Sweden. His parents married in 1889 and then emigrated to America and settled in Kansas City, MO. They had four children, Otis (b.1899), Alvin (b.1901), Mildred (b.1904), and Jack (b.1912). The family lived at 3220 Oak Street. The father was a house carpenter.

On June 7, 1914 Alvin Pearson graduated from the eighth grade at the Hyde Park School. The following September he began to attend Westport High School.

During the Great War Alvin Pearson was still a student teenager, so he was too young to qualify for military service.

In 1919 he graduated from Westport High School in Kansas City, MO.

In 1920 the family lived at 203 East 33rd Street in Kansas City. That same year he began to attend the Kansas City Art Institute, where he met his future wife, Florence Kerr.

In 1924 he completed his art training and began to work as a staff artist at The Kansas City Star.

On July 22, 1924 The Kansas City Star reported that four people were killed when the steamship Boston collided in heavy fog with the oil tanker Swift Arrow off the coast of Rhode Island, and Alvin Pearson of The Kansas City Star was among the passengers. According to Pearson, "It was pitch dark. Soon after the collision officers of the ship passed along the decks assuring passengers there was no danger. We neither saw nor heard of them again. Nobody appeared to know much about getting the lifeboats over side. The passengers went at it hit-or-miss. We lowered the boats into the water and then the passengers went to the lower decks and jumped into them. The women and children were lowered by their hands. The drop was about twelve feet. Passengers in the boats caught the children. All the lifeboats drifted around for a few hours before they got alongside the Swift Arrow and their occupants were taken aboard."

On October 12, 1927 Alvin Pearson married Florence Kerr, She was born on October 21, 1902. Besides having attended the Kansas City Art Institute she had also attended the Art Institute of San Miguel, Mexico, and Wichita State University. They had three children, Mark (b.1929), John (b.1932), and Andrea (b.1937),

In 1930 the artist and his wife moved to Brooking, Missouri, where he had been hired to work at an advertising agency.

In 1931 Alvin Pearson was among the founders of the Commercial Artists' Association of Kansas City, an artist agency located at 1225 Baltimore Avenue. They handled pictorial, design and lettering assignments for advertisers.

In 1933 the artist and his family left Kansas City and moved to New York City, where he worked at Kay Kamen Enterprises, an advertising agency at 1270 Sixth Avenue and 50th Street in the Rockefeller Center complex. The Pearson family lived at 223 Tenafly Road in Englewood, New Jersey.

In 1934 the artist began to take classes at the Art Students League on 215 West 57th Street. He studied with Randall Davis, Walter Biggs (1886-1968) and Harvey Dunn.

In 1941 Alvin Pearson and his family left New Jersey and moved to Wichita, Kansas, where he had been hired as a staff artist at Western Lithograph Company, located at First Street and Topeka in Wichita, KS. The family lived at 1620 North Holyoke.

During World War II Alvin Pearson registered with his draft board. He was recorded to have been five-ten, 150 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair and a light complexion, with "scar inside right knee."

In 1944 Pearson was hired at the McCormick-Armstrong advertising agency at 1501 East Douglas in Wichita, Kansas.

In 1944 the Wichita Art Association at 401 North Belmont offered classes in figure drawing, portrait, still-life, and commercial art taught by Alvin Pearson during weekdays and evenings.

In 1946 Alvin Pearson was elected president of the Artists" Guild of Wichita, KS.

The artist regularly exhibited his landscapes and portrait paintings at local art shows.

His wife, Florence Kerr Pearson resumed her own art career. She made floral paintings that were shown at local art galleries.

In 1973 Alvin Pearson retired from his commercial art career and devoted his time to painting and teaching.

In 1982 the artist and his wife left Wichita and moved to Lenexa, Kansas, where their son Mark Pearson lived.

Alvin Theodore Pearson died at the age of eighty-five on March 24, 1987 in Lenexa, Kansas.

                               © David Saunders 2021

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