Australia-born, French-trained painter Ambrose Patterson, organizer of the University of Washington School of Painting and Design, was (along with Mark Tobey) one of the major proponents of modern art in the Seattle area.
He was trained in French academies and ateliers in the early decades of the 20th century. By 1903 Patterson began exhibiting as a member of Avant Garde Postimpressionist groups like the Salon D'Automne in Paris and Le Cercle Artistique et Litteraire in Brussels.
The evolution of Ambrose Paterson’s work follows a trajectory through many of the major movements in modern art. His early images from Paris reflect his academic realist training but rapidly transition to an interest in impressionism. In his later works Patterson experimented with cubism and elements of abstraction.
Strongly rooted in the early bohemian decades of modernism, Ambrose Patterson was internationally recognized as a painter and printmaker. He spent over forty of his mature years in Seattle. Patterson is probably best known for his educational role in Seattle, as it's first modernist link to Europe. Most of his work is in private and public collections dispersed throughout Australia, France, London, Belgium, and the United States.