"John Langley is from a family of artists. He led a rich life of travel, artistic pursuits and teaching. Imbued with socialist ideas, Howard was convinced that he could contribute to the advancement of society through his art. In 1933 he created one of the notorious murals for the Coit Tower in San Francisco, depicting the social conditions of the city. During the Depression decade of the 1930s, he documented the stalwart laborers, the timeworn unemployed, and the bewildered ""ordinary"" people drowning in the everyday pressures of the times.
When war began in 1941, he felt that he could no longer reject the patriotic climate. He refocused on the hills, the foliage, small towns and working people. He also was attracted to the strange beauty in science, creating many covers for Scientific American magazine.
His works reveal superb control of the media: watercolor, egg tempera, oil, etching and drawing. His exacting technique belied his physical size and strength, revealing the sensitive and empathetic core of the artist/poet."