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 1920.

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


S.T. Daken — Signature from about 1903 to 1911 (most of his pre-1906 works were lost in the San Francisco earthquake and fire).

S. Tilden Daken — Signature from about 1911 to 1913.

Tilden Daken — Signature from about 1914 to 1919 and often with a “swirling S” around his name.

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

More Information

Tilden Daken (1876-1935) is best known as a California Impressionist.  As a child, he developed a passion for nature, classical music, and painting in the backwoods. By his teens, he was a fresco and mural painter in San Francisco. He painted over 4,000 landscapes en plein air, directly from nature to capture the light of the day from dawn until dusk. He also painted in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Mexico, Baja, Hawaii, the South Seas, and parts of the East Coast.