Northern California Nature Garden, c. 1925.

The Signature Styles of Tilden Daken

Born Samuel Tilden Daken, the artist never signed a painting with the name Samuel. The common reference to the name Sidney is incorrect (his second daughter was named Sydney).

He changed the spelling of his surname from Daken to Dakin around 1918.

The progression of his name iterations and signature styles is helpful in determining the ages of his undated works (he signed over 90% of his paintings).


S.T.D. — Signature until about 1906. Many of these paintings were lost in the earthquake and fire of 1906.

S.T. Daken — Signature from about 1906 to 1913 (often with a swirling “S”).

Tilden Daken — Signature from about 1914 to 1917 (often indistinguishable between Daken and Dakin).

Tilden Dakin — Signature from about 1918 until his death in 1935.

More Information

Tilden Daken, a decorator and fresco painter in his youth, is best known for his oils on canvas—landscapes painted en plein air, some more than a century ago, before development changed these lands forever, preserving memories of early California landscapes for generations to come. He painted over 4,000 landscapes, most directly from nature—to capture the light of the day from dawn until dusk. Known primarily as a California artist, he also painted in other parts of the United States and in Mexico, Baja California, Hawaii, and Alaska. He briefly painted in parts of Europe and Japan and possibly the South Sea Islands.