Born September 17, 1899 on a Minnesota farm, Jack Fitch lost his mother as a teenager and his stepmother subsequently put him out of the house. He harvested wheat in North Dakota, worked as a logger in the Pacific Northwest, and worked on the O’Shaughnessy and Hoover Dams, joining the IWW. In 1928 he became a pile driver, joined a craft union and moved to San Francisco to work on the Golden Gate and Bay bridges.
Fitch lost touch with his relatives. He never married and lived quietly and alone in a small flat on Minna Street in San Francisco. He had no other education after leaving Minnesota, but took a few WPA art classes while in the Bay Area. He set up his easel in his apartment and filled it with canvases, which often were painted on both sides. Fitch’s paintings are of memories, families, mothers and children, gardens, mountain meadows and forest landscapes, things he considered "pleasant matters." He kept all his paintings in his apartment and could not be convinced to share them.
He died February 27, 1994, acknowledging no relatives and leaving no will. His paintings were put up for auction by the city of San Francisco.
[ View works by Jack Fitch — prices range from $1,400 to $6,000 ]