Calvin Fletcher will be remembered for his years of service to and innovation in the Utah State Art Department, to the Utah art scene, and as a representative on the national art scene. He was a member of national and local arts associations, served in various official capacities, won numerous local awards, and exhibited nationally. However, his most important contribution to Utah art is probably his public support for 'modern forms of art interpretation."
Fletcher's life had its share of hardships. In February of 1909, Calvin's first wife, Sara A. Herbert, died, leaving him alone with their two young children. He then married Zettie Ricks in December of that same year. Calvin and Zettie added six children to their family before her death in July of 1925. Finally, in December of 1926, Calvin wed his third wife, Clare Irene Thompson, with whom he had his last six children.
Fletcher entered Brigham Young Academy, from which he received a "certificate in normal drawing." He then attended Brigham Young University and graduated two years later with both a Bachelor of Science and a certificate in Fine Arts. While attending B.Y.U., he had taught as an assistant professor of art and manual training, and he continued to teach for a year after his graduation, before leaving to study at New York's Pratt Institute.
Though originally interested in sculpture, Fletcher chose to pursue his talent as a landscape painter. He was not a painter who created solely according to emotion and intuition; the principles of design were also important to him. Through extensive study of great masters' works, he found the movement from Realism to Abstraction came naturally, because his works were based upon correct design principles. Thus, although Fletcher was a Modernist, his paintings were always based on classical design, even in the most modern of his Expressionist works. His continuous efforts to learn these principles resulted in a deep understanding of art, its history, and its purpose. After graduating from Brigham Young Academy, Calvin continued his education in New York, London, Paris and Chicago. Upon finishing his studies, this artist and educator taught both in Utah County schools and also at BYU. In 1907, he became a professor at Utah Agricultural College in Logan, Utah. It was during the 40 years spent there that Fletcher most influenced Utah Art. Calvin Fletcher led Utah from Impressionism to Modern Expressionism. From the 1920s to the 1940s, Fletcher brought distinguished national artists such as Lee Randolph, Birger Sandzen, BJO Nordfelt, Otis Oldfield, Ralph Stack Pole, and Ralph Pearson to teach summer classes at Utah State Agricultural College. These renowned artists solidified Fletcher's ideas in the minds of Utah's young artists and helped him establish modern art in Utah.