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Allen Tupper True and True family papers, 1841-1987

Biographical Note

Allen Tupper True (1881-1955) was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1881. He was a student at the University of Denver, and studied at the Corcoran School of Art, Washington, D.C. between 1901 and 1902. In 1902, he was accepted into Howard Pyle's classes in Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania, and studied there until 1908, befriending classmates George Harding, Gordon McCouch, Thornton Oakley, and N.C. Wyeth. Through Pyle, True began his career as a magazine illustrator.
From approximately 1913-1915, True worked with British muralist Frank Brangwyn, assisting Brangwyn in the execution of murals at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, California.
After marrying Emma Goodman Eaton in 1915 (divorced 1934), True launched his career as a mural painter. His most notable works include the mural decorations in the state capitol buildings of Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming, as well as murals for the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company Building and the Civic Center in Denver, Colorado. True specialized in depicting Western and Native American themes.
From 1934-1945, True acted as consultant for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, in charge of and designing all decoration and color schemes for the Boulder Dam power plant, Grand Coulee Dam, and the Shasta Dam, among others.
True was a Unitarian Mason, and a member of the Mural Painters of America, Beta Theta Pi, Cactus Club of Denver, and the Author's Club, London. He died in 1955.