George Sorenson was born in 1910 and raised in San Diego. During the Depression, he enrolled at San Diego State and began studying art under Everett Gee Jackson. Sorenson was chosen to paint a campus mural and was one of the Art Editors for the yearbook. He graduated in 1937 with a Bachelors of Arts degree and began teaching in public schools. During World War II, he served two tours of duty in the Navy. He received his Masters degree in Art from the University of Southern California.
In 1946, Sorenson returned to SDSU as a professor of art, later serving as chairman of the fine arts division. He was also chairman of the acquisitions and loan committee for the San Diego Museum of Art, an art columnist for the San Diego Union, and Art Show Director of the San Diego County Fair. He traveled to Mexico where he met Diego Rivera and Jean Charlow. One of his paintings was exhibited in Osaka, Japan, at the World Expo with the Cultural Attaché in 1970.
Sorenson eventually came to be known as "SDSU's Master of Art." He retired in 1976 and died in 2001.
1993 interview with George Sorenson, SDSU Professor Emeritus of Art from 1946 to 1976.
Download the PDF transcript.
In this interview totaling 1 hour and 3 minutes, Dr. Sorenson talks about his childhood and education in San Diego, as well as his stints playing drums with local big bands and the San Diego Symphony. He mentions his service as an assistant commanding officer in the Navy, during which he met Malcolm Love for the first time at Ohio State. Sorenson also credits Everett Jackson, Patty Patterson, and Ray Perry on the faculty for being positive influences and helping him out. He also discusses how he became Division Chairman.
Interviewed by Michael Milligan on audio cassette on 6/23/1993. (Note: the original analog tape was incorrectly recorded at 1/2 speed, and corrected digitally).
Image credit: Professor George Sorenson circa 1970, University Archives Photograph Collection, Special Collections & University Archives.