1913, June 21Born Paul Emile Antoine Fontaine in Worcester Massachusetts to Elzear Herman Egile Fontaine,(4/17/1898, Central Falls RI-7/1950, Worcester, MA) an undertaker and Mary Adwilda LaPlante (10/11/1896, Worcester,MA-9/1977Guadalajara, Mexico). Both were of French Canadian descent. He had two younger brothers Russell Ellery Fontaine and Leo Elzear Fontaine.
1920-1926 Rice Square School, Worcester, MA
1926-1929Junior High, Grafton Str, Worcester, MA
1929-1932 North High, Salisbury St, Worcester, MA. Worked at Lavoigne Drug Store, Franklin St, Worcester, MA under Frank Lavoign
1935-May-Dec Worked in the Civilian Conservation Corp (C.C.C.) as an artist, depicting scenes of camp life.
1932-1935 Worcester Art Museum School, Worcester, MA . Two major influences were Mr. Michie's lectures on oriental art, in particular Notan theory and Mr. Humann stress on originality and development of a personal style. Worked on watercolor technique, informed by Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent and Albert Pinkham Ryder works in the Worcester Art Museum.
1932-1940Between 1932 and 1940 Fontaine received six art scholarships and one traveling fellowship. In 1936 Mr. Francis Henry Taylor, then director of the Worcester Art Museum and later director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for the first and only time arranged for the Worcester Museum to match the museum school's highest graduating award so that Fontaine could continue his art studies at Yale.
1936WPA Art Project: Painted the Springfield, Massachusetts Post Office murals designed by his former teacher Umberto Romano.
1937-39Attended Yale University, School of Art. Finished five year program in two and half years. While a student at Yale, he also taught composition, drawing and painting at Cheshire Academy-, Roxbury, Conn. and at the Waterbury Art School, Waterbury, Conn. on the side.
1939, DecemberCompleted work for his degree at Yale.
1940Painted murals about the life of Sir Thomas More for the Burnham Stained Glass Studios, Boston, Mass. for a cathedral in Illinois.
1940, JuneAwarded B.F.A.degree, highest honor in his class and the Winchester Wirt Traveling Fellowship, under Dean Meeks, for further study.The scholarship was intended to be used in Europe but due to the outbreak of WWII he settled on the Virgin Islands.
1940, August 24Married Virginia Hammersmith, from Milwaukee, WI and also an art student at Yale. She later proved to be an accomplished photograher, art collector and vital to Paul's introduction into known art circles.
1940-41Painted in the British Virgin Islands--Guana, Virgin Gorda, Tortola, and also Puerto Rico. One-man show at Eliza King Dooley residence, Santurci, Puerto Rico.The pleasant watercolors of local scenes became less representational as he experimented with color and rhythmical patterns of black and white.
1941One-man show at Grace Horne Galleries, Boston Arts Club, Boston. All work entered in government competitions accepted and sent on tour. Five watercolors purchase by Govt. for installation in various Govt. buildings in the United States.
1942Designed and built his own studio, "Rocky Tor", on the side of a mountain on the outskirts of Worcester. Founded the Worcester Artists Group with Herbert Barnett, head of the Worcester Museum Art School, which toured New England and the Mid-west two years.Also worked at Worcester Pressed Steel and Worcester Wire Works
June 1943-1945Entered U.S.Army as combat engineer. Rose from private to Sargent. In Naples, Rome and Florence requested to do murals for officers clubs and the Red Cross. Illustrated the Official History of the II Corps. Specialized in topographical work in Headquarters of II Corps of 5th Army. Made watercolors in his spare time. As a soldier in Italy, from 1943 to 1945, his art became more abstract
1943, December 27Daughter Carol born, Worcester MA
1945-May 1946Cartographer for Historical Division, Paris. Made maps, graphs, overlays, book cover designs etc. to illustrate the history of WWII.
1945-46One-man show tour of his italian watercolors exhibited at the Milwaukee Art Institute, U. of Indiana Fine Arts Center, Ripon College, Wis.;Kalamazoo institute of Art, Fitchburg Art Center, Mass. Margaret Brown Art Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts.
May 1946-June 1953Assistant Art Director, A.G. Graphic Section, Publications branch Frankfurt Military Post, Germany for the 7879 Publications Depot under Mr. Boatman. Made and supervised posters, displays, booklets etc for the US Army. After the war, he had planned to reside in Paris, but his civilian job as an illustrator with the U. S. Army Historical Division moved to Frankfurt, Germany. The year 1947 marks his total commitment to abstract painting.
1948, MayFirst show in Germany, at the Frankfurter Kunstkabinett, gallery of Hanna Bekker vom Rath (see Exhibitions timeline for complete list of art exhibits. Exhibited 58 times during his life in Germany)
1948, August 31Daughter Paula born, Frankfurt Germany.
June 1953-June 1969Moved to Darmstadt, Germany. Employed at the the Stars & Stripes, as Art Director.
1956, September 29Daughter Claudia born, Frankfurt, Germany.
June 1969-June 1993Retired to Guadalajara Mexico. Spent the first year and half in a trailer park. Painted over 50 watercolors, most all studies for later large acrylic paintings.
1971, NovemberFirst show in Mexico at Instituto Cultural Norteamericano de Jalisco in Guadalajara. Exhibited 32 times during his life in Mexico.
1992, February 19Virginia died, Guadalajara Mexico, at age of 75 of emphesyma.
1993, JuneMoved to Austin Texas where Paula and Claudia lived. Represented by Sol del Rio Gallery, San Antonio, TX
1996, January 23Paul died in Austin TX, age 82 of heart failure.