Daniel S. Lutz was a venerable figure in Los Angeles art circles, noted primarily for his highly expressionist, emotive paintings. After briefly attending James Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, Lutz enrolled in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where from 1928 to 1931 he studied sculpture with John Norton (18761934) and painting with Boris Anisfeld (1879-1973). Awarded a traveling scholarship, he spent a year visiting museums in Europe. Then in 1932 he and his wife settled permanently on the West Coast. During the late 1930s Lutz served as vice-president of the California Water Color Society for two years. He also taught at many local schools, including the University of Southern California, 1933-44, and Chouinard Art Institute, 1944-52, and was visiting professor at schools in Athens, Georgia; Chicago; San Antonio; and Saugatuck, Michigan. In 1954 he established his own summer school of painting. During the 1950s he traveled frequently, to Mexico, Canada, Europe, and New Zealand. In 1960 he moved permanently to Santa Barbara.
Lutz painted in both oil and watercolor. His early works were mostly genre scenes and views of the places where he lived. In the mid-1940s Lutz turned increasingly toward more expressionist abstraction. He returned to representation in the mid-1950s, and his style did not change substantially thereafter.
Archiv. Am. Art, Dan Lutz Papers (not on microfilm) § Donald Bear, "Recent Pictures by Dan Lutz," Magazine of Art 36 (December 1943): 304-7 § Arthur Millier, "Dan Lutz," American Artist 15 (December 1951): 34-37, 87-89 § Rose Henderson, "The New Dan Lutz," Studio 156 (October 1958): 114-17 § Moure 1975, pp. 19-20, 55-56, with bibliography.