In Memory

Robert H "Bob" Perine - Class Of 1941

Robert H Bob Perine

Robert Perine, a prolific jack-of-all-trades in the creative arts fields who helped found a revitalized version of the historic Chouinard Art Institute, died on November 6, 2004 in Pasadena, The Los Angeles Times reported. He was 81.

A graduate of and instructor at Chouinard, Mr. Perine wrote a critical book, "Chouinard: An Art Vision Betrayed," about the institute in 1985 after Walt Disney bailed it out of debt and turned it into the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.

He and Dave Tourje started the Chouinard Foundation a dozen years after the book had renewed interest in the institute. They started a newsletter and held exhibitions and auctions to raise money for the new school, which opened in South Pasadena in 2003. The original school operated from 1921 to 1972.

Revival plans by Mr. Perine and Mr. Tourje piqued interest in 2001, when they arranged museum exhibitions by Chouinard alumni. Mr. Perine served as co-director and taught design, figure drawing and watercolor painting after the new Chouinard opened last year.

He attended Pasadena City College before joining the Navy as a painter during World War II. He later attended the University of Southern California and graduated from Chouinard in 1950.

Mr. Perine was also an artist and writer who published books about the craft under his Artra Publishing Company. His artwork is housed in more than 200 permanent collections across the country. He also had a graphic design firm and created logos and marketing materials.


Robert Perine, co- founder of The Chouinard Foundation, an art school in South Pasadena. Perine died over the weekend at age 81.

Last year, Perine and partner Dave Tourje launched the Mission Street school, named for pioneering Los Angeles educator Nelbert Chouinard, who died in 1969. The Chouinard Foundation began its inaugural semester in October 2003, offering day, night and Saturday classes. Tourje, a South Pasadena resident, and Perine, who lived in Pasadena, were co-directors. The fledgling school emphasizes the fundamentals of drawing, painting, ceramics and other disciplines, and uses working artists as guest faculty.

Nelbert Chouinard founded the highly regarded Chouinard Art Institute. Established in 1921 in the MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles, the school was absorbed in 1972 by what became California Institute of the Arts, in Valencia, which dropped the Chouinard name.

Perine and Tourje acquired the rights to the Chouinard name through the state, which also granted the school nonprofit status. They held fund-raisers and leased 16,000 square feet of space in a turn-of-the-century city landmark that was extensively renovated.

Perine grew up in San Marino and graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1941. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-46, with the rank Painter 1st Class.

His 1986 book, "Chouinard: An Art Vision Betrayed,' chronicled the original school's history.

"I was a student at Chouinard right after World War II. I went there on the GI Bill, and graduated in 1950,' Perine said in 2003. He spent his career as graphic designer.

Chouinard "lived in South Pasadena, on Garfield Avenue. When I was a student, I would occasionally pick her up and take her to school," Perine recalled last year.

Perine is survived by his wife, Blaze Newman; two daughters, Jorli Perine and Lisa Corcoran; and eight grandchildren. Another daughter, Terri, preceded him in death.

Pasadena Star-News, November 12, 2004