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).

For reasons unclear, he changed the spelling of his surname from Daken to Dakin in about 1919.

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


S.T.D. — Signature until about 1905. Most of these paintings were lost in the earthquake and fire of 1906.

S.T. Daken — Signature from about 1906 to 1912.

Tilden Daken — Signature from about 1913 to 1919 and often with the “swirling S.”

Tilden Dakin — Signature from about 1920 until his death in 1935 (“Daken” versus “Dakin” is sometimes indistinguishable).

More Information

Tilden Daken, a decorator and fresco painter in his youth, is best known for his 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 directly from nature to capture the light of the day from dawn until dusk. Known primarily as a California Impressionist, he also painted in other parts of the United States and in Mexico, Baja California, Hawaii, and Alaska.