The Historical Collections Council of California Art has its own website. Yeah !!!!!www.historicalcollectionscouncil.org. Check it out. Thank you to whoever designed it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!
The permanent collection of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College can be browsed on the web atweb-kiosk.scrippscollege.edu. The College owns several works by early twentieth century California artists including Jean Ames, Phil Dike, William Keith, Henry Lee McFee, etc.
Threatened by demolition is desert painter John Hilton’s residence from 1938 to 1942. Called Rancho Dos Palmas and located south of Palm Springs/Indio on the north shore of the Salton Sea, during Hilton’s tenure it served as reconnoitering site for desert artists Jimmy Swinnerton, Maynard Dixon and Vic Forsythe. During WWII, it served as a center for Hilton’s significant aid to American forces training in the desert. The BLM (Bureau of Land Management) who now owns the property is more interested in preserving habitat for endangered species and doesn’t want the responsibility of caring for a rundown building. Various desert newspapers have brought the issue to public attention with the hope the historically significant building can be remodeled into a visitor center. (See Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery monthly magazine, on its website:www.bbhgallery.com.)
Inglewood’s famed ‘History of Transportation’ Mural Makes a Bold Comeback. Six years after Helen Lundeberg’s giant WPA artwork was removed in deplorable condition, it returns in style. "The 60-panel, 240 foot-long artwork runs along a curved wall in the new Grevillea Art Park, close to Inglewood City Hall and High School. Thanks to city authorities, preservationists and concerned citizens, the refurbished mural has been… outfitted with a protective coating that will make graffiti easy to remove…. Made of petrachrome, a terrazzo-like material composed of crushed rock embedded in tinted mortar, the artwork was built to last. But two panels were destroyed by wayward vehicles; others were cracked and buried under layers of graffiti. Lundeberg, a Los Angeles-based artist who died in 1999, at 91, was commissioned to make the mural by the Work Projects Administration’s Federal Art Project… She designed the panoramic view of the evolution of transportation – from Native Americans on foot to passengers boarding a DC-3 aircraft – for the entrance to Centinela Park (now Edward Vincent Jr. Park). Community efforts to save the mural didn’t go anywhere until 2000, when the city of Inglewood received a $50,000 planning grant from the Getty Foundation and a state park bond act provided more than $1 million to restore and relocate the artwork. Conservation began in 2003." (from the LA Times article by Suzanne Muchnic)
The American Galleries of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have been moved from the Ahmanson Building to the second floor of the Modern and Contemporary Art building fronting Wilshire. The new display features intimate rooms in which American furniture and decorative arts form a setting for related paintings. Two years hence, American art will expand into the first floor.
A comprehensive survey of Los Angeles architecture is now being made to identify significant structures. Forty five years ago (1962) civic leaders passed the Cultural Heritage Ordinance, which allowed individual sites to be designated as historic and/or cultural monuments. Now, with technical assistance and money from the Getty Foundation, "SurveyLA: Los Angeles Historical Resources Survey Project" is underway. A website is in the making, and when it is up it will be interactive. Thus, besides the expected buildings by Schindler, Neutra and Wright, identified years ago by experts, individuals will have the ability to suggest out-of-the-way structures that have community importance. How do minorities figure in LA’s architectural history? "What are the patterns, the trends, the forces throughout the development history of Los Angeles that made certain property types occur and why?" With more than 800,000 legal parcels to assess, this is a big job. Still, in the end, it is hoped Los Angeles will know more about itself and its architectural history. (From the L. A. Times article "How to Save the Real L. A.? First, You Find It," by Lynell George)
Wesley Jessup, former Director of the Pasadena Museum of California Art, announces his new position as Executive Director of the Boise Art Museum in Boise, Idaho. BAM is an AAM accredited museum celebrating its 70th year of operation and is the leading art institution in Idaho. It owns 2,000 works of art focusing on 20th Century American art with an emphasis on artists of the Pacific Northwest, American realism and ceramics. The address is 670 Julia Davis Drive, Boise, Idaho 83702. Tel.: 208-345-8330.
Jerry Solomon Custom Picture Framing is holding a huge factory/showroom Clearance Sale from September 4 – 25th, 2007 (Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.) Greatly reduced will be framed art, unframed art, modern and antique frames, unclaimed art, mistake frames, etc. 960 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, Ca. 90038.www.solomonframe.com.
Impressive is the number of art councils that now have been formed for people interested in collecting and learning more about California art while at the same time supporting museum programs on the subject.
Historical Collections Council of California – the original!!!! First associated with the Laguna Art Museum, then the Orange County Museum of Art, and now with the Irvine Museum. Check out its new website at
Historical Art Council, Laguna Art Museum. Seewww.lagunaartmuseum.org/councils.
Western Art Council associated with the Palm Springs Art Museum. Many of its members collect California or desert art. Coordinator Nancy Thomsen 760-325-7186 x 188.
American Art Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art contains several members who collect pre-1945 California art. For questions – 323-857-6028.
California Arts Council (formerly the Plein Art Council) of the Bowers Museum, Santa Ana. Members are interested in both historic and contemporary plein air art. Call 714-567-3639.
Arts Council of the San Diego Historical Society. Established in 2006 to promote the preservation, collection and exhibition of historical California art, and to support the mission and the permanent art collection of the San Diego Historical Society. For membership questions contact Donna Van Ert at 619-232-6203, ext. 102.
Pond Farm, the pottery workshop of Marguerite Wildenhain, was located for over 50 years near the town of Guerneville, on the Russian River It is now on property that is part of the Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, a couple of miles from the center of Guerneville. What remains is Wildenhain’s house, now occupied by Park staff and inaccessible to those interested in ceramic history, and a 3 x 4 foot sign announcing Pond Farm. Ceramics aficionados wanting to visit the site will find it difficult to locate. The Reserve does not feature or promote Pond Farm in any of its tourist literature, but once you are on the reserve, it does admit Pond Farm once existed.
William A. Karges Fine Art has just issued a 3-fold brochure "Major Works by Early California Painters" that reproduces on the cover a work by Granville Redmond, and inside paintings by Hansen, Rose, Bischoff, Raphael, and Gamble.
The San Diego Historical Society now has a rotating exhibition of sculptures by Donal Hord in the Society’s atrium. The most recent piece is Midday Sun, a striking wooden sculpture depicting a Native American.
The Oakland Museum of California has been given an incredible collection of 275 artworks by California artists, primarily active in the second half of the twentieth century, although there are several works by the Society of Six. Collected by Ted and Ruth Nash beginning in 1955 and with some help from chief curator Philip Linhares, selected artworks are now on view at the Museum until the end of the year.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House Back from the Brink. Severely damaged by the Northridge earthquake, heavy rains, and deferred maintenance, Wright’s iconic 1924 Ennis House, located in the hills above Los Feliz Blvd., now stands firmly once again. A just-completed combination of structural and restoration work has stabilized this world-renowned masterpiece, the last and grandest of Wright’s ‘textile block’ homes built in Los Angeles. For details and photos, seelac.laconservancy.org.
We hear so much about high powered collectors whose goal is to acquire only masterpieces and who pay into the seven figures. Anyone who knows Kirk and Linda Edgar know that is not their personality.
It’s always interesting to know at exactly what point collectors become interested in art. Kirk had no particular art experience throughout his childhood and early career days.
Linda, on the other hand, had some art background. Her father, Robert Leland, while principal of Burbank High School, arranged for his graduating seniors to purchase a painting for the school for their class gift. Her aunt, Elvira Mahoney, was a lifelong artist who began painting watercolors in later in life – her specialty floral watercolors. She won a number of ribbons at local art competitions in Northern California. She also won the Mary Vossler Memorial Award and First Place at the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival, c. 1996. At one time she lived in the Gold Rush town of Columbia (the historical town now a state park) where she ran a shop, Mayhap, that sold art. Both Linda’s mother, Pearl Leland, and father and aunt took Linda to museums.
Kirk and Linda met at an Artists Festival at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Beginning in the mid 1980s, on weekends, their entertainment was to visit estate sales, antique shows, and antique stores in search of hidden treasures to decorate their home. Anyone who knows Linda and Kirk immediately sense these two enjoy each other’s company. For a good ten years, these pals were always at the Long Beach Outdoor Antique Market in time to see dealers unloading at 6 a.m.
Thinking back, Kirk believes that although he was aware of paintings by the mid-1980s, his actual interest in acquiring it didn’t begin until the early 1990s, when they the California Historical Society and saw a Arthur Mathews’s painting while on a trip to San Francisco. Their visit was prompted by their interest in California history, but when Kirk’s eyes fell on Mathews’s painting The Wave – showing three women emerging from a wave – he said, "Wow!" So fascinated was he that the next time the couple traveled north to visit Linda’s sister, who lived east of Sacramento, they stopped at the State Capitol to view Mathews’s murals in the round room below the rotunda. Kirk bought the book on Mathews by Harvey Jones. Eventually the couple bought Ruth Westphal’s Plein Air Painters: The Southland, and Nancy Moure’s Dictionary and other books to educate themselves. They honed their aesthetic on visits to museums, including the Los Angeles Museum of Art, the Haggin in Stockton, the Oakland Museum, the Crocker Museum in Sacramento, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Monterey Museum of Art, the gallery at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, the Carmel Art Association, the Orange County Museum of Art and, of course, the Laguna Art Museum and the Irvine Museum. Also important was viewing art up for auction, particularly at John Moran in Pasadena and Butterfield’s. One of their first paintings by a California artist was purchased at an estate sale in Long Beach, c. 1993.
Kirk and Linda found an important friend in Maurine St. Gaudens, an art conservator in Pasadena. They first made her acquaintance in 1990 at the Long Beach Antique Market. They exchanged cards. A couple of years later, the Edgars began to take her paintings to conserve. Often, when Kirk and Linda drove up to Pasadena area outdoor Antique Shows they would drop by Maurine’s to visit. At this Sunday afternoon salon, attended by other friends of Maurine as well, all would bring their latest finds. At these meetings there would be food, art discussions and critiques. "It was these salons that contributed greatly to our knowledge and appreciation for paintings and art in other mediums."
Maurine, as anyone who knows her knows, is a go-getter, and has curated several exhibits of pre-1945 California art. One of her fortes is to display good but rarely seen artists. Maurine St. Gaudens curated exhibits at: the Wachtel house and the Jean Mannheim house in 1993, Legacy of the Arroyo Seco, American Institute of Architects (the Edgars lent their Wachtel bought an Antique Show); the Cole house, part of the late fall annual Pasadena Heritage weekend in 1994 (Kirk and Linda lent a Dedrick Stuber); the Early California Impressionists and Post Impressionists at the Blinn House during the Pasadena Craftsman Weekend in 1996 (the Edgars lent their J. D. Gleason, Sunset Beach, acquired from an antique store in Long Beach, three John Christopher Smith paintings and a painting of Sunflowers by Harry Judson Allen); Nature’s Palate: Garden Views, Vistas, and Fantasies, 1880-2005, held at Pasadena Museum of History in 2005 (the Edgars lent two Nell Coover floral garden paintings).
To the 2001 OCMA exhibition From the Collections of Members of the HCC, the Edgars lent their J. D. Gleason. Their Mildred Bryant Brooks etching, Vagabonds, and Katherine Skeele Dann drawing, Corn Pickers, were hung in A Cultural Legacy, Pasadena Society of Artists, at the Pasadena Museum of History in 2002, co-curated by artist/teacher Jae Carmichael and Maurine. Linda discovered the Brooks print while looking through an Antique Store in Beaumont, California. Linda uncovered it in a box of frames – still in its original frame with the PWAP plate. In August 2004, the Edgars lent to a Rancho Los Alamitos, Long Beach, exhibition presented in conjunction with their American in Paris fund raising party. One of their artists Nell Coover, whose works they found in two separate antique shops, spent many years in Paris between 1899 and 1914, and the Edgars lent several paintings, etchings and drawings. They also donated a Nell Coover charcoal drawing for the fundraising auction. The recent Sam Hyde Harris show, Who Was Sam?, which included his fine art and commercial work, was curated for the Pasadena Museum of History by Maurine St. Gaudens, contained two paintings lent by the Edgars (Sunset Beach is shown in American Art Review). They bought these paintings from Maurine, who handles the Harris estate and is the author of the book Sam Hyde Harris, 1889 – 1977, A Retrospective. Kirk assisted with the installation of this exhibit and gave some assistance in the preparation of the book. Kirk and Linda found Maurine’s Harris exhibit and book to be excellent.
It was another acquaintance, collector/dealer/HCC member Ed Korb who encouraged them to join the Historical Collections Council. This was in 1993. Then, as we all know, Kirk served as president of our group 1999-2001. Asked to name some event that stood out during those two years, Kirk recalls a great trip to Michael Johnson’s home and the Art and Cultural Center in Fallbrook where we were treated a great show of "The American Scene, Regionalist Painters of California, 1930 – 1960." This was followed by the Orange County Museum of Art exhibit "Circles of Influence", curated by Sarah Vure. There was the great annual dinner with the informative and entertaining Will South. It was a time when there was a wonderful working relationship with Naomi Vine and Sarah Vure at the Orange Country Museum of Art. But best of all was the chance to spend time with fellow members and share our interest in art.
The Edgars also collect prints. They own etchings and lithographs by such artists as Mabel Alvarez, Mildred Bryant Brooks, James Swann, Herbert Dunton, Charles Surendorf, and others. Serendipity comes into play in their method of collecting, of course, but they only buy when both are moved by the artworks aesthetics. One of their favorite pieces, for example, is a large 33 x 48 in. oil by Victor Mirosnysenko, a Russian who was a prisoner of war in WWII and came to the US where he became a commercial painter for Sears. The work depicts downtown LA in the 1950s from a house atop a hill in Silver Lake. This they feature in their living room.
Wesley Edgar, now 13, has selected a few works of art for his room. His favorite painting is of a space capsule rounding the moon and headed for earth. He has a small collection of pocket watches and Japanese puzzle boxes. He plays the bass and was first chair in the Orchestra at Arrowbear Music Camp this summer.
Kirk’s closing comments were:
"Our philosophy of buying art was and is that we would invest a great deal of time instead of a great deal of money. We would buy art we liked, signed or unsigned and known or unknown. Our first love is the art and after that we do try to find out something who painted it and the history of the subject when we can."
"Our interest in the HCC has always been in the many opportunities to enjoy works of art and share that experience with others who also enjoy art."
ROGER ARMSTRONG, 89, cartoonist for Bugs Bunny, Flintstones, etc. died on June 7, 2007 of cardiac arrest. Armstrong, as we all know, was a member of the Historical Collections Council, and enjoyed attending many of our meetings. The following is from an article in the Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, June 20, 2007, written by Dennis McLellan. "As a cartoonist for Western Publishing in Los Angeles in the 1940s, Armstrong worked on Bugs Bunny and other Warner Bros. Characters – including Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd – as well as Walt Disney characters, such as Little Hiawatha, the Seven Dwarfs, Donald Duck and Pluto, and Walter Lantz’s Woody Woodpecker. Armstrong also was one of those who drew the Bugs Bunny newspaper cartoon strip from 1942 to 1944, the year he was drafted into the Army. Armstrong, who had been cartoonist Clifford McBride’s assistant on the comic strip ‘Napoleon and Uncle Elby,’ took over the strip when McBride died in 1950 and continued doing it for a decade. He also drew the cartoon strip ‘Ella Cinders’ in the 1950s and later returned to working on the Bugs Bunny strip, in addition to working on the strips ‘Little Lulu’ ‘The Flintstones’ and ‘Scamp.’ At Western Publishing in the 1960s and ‘70s, Armstrong did comic book artwork for the Flintstones, Scooby Doo, the Pink Panther, the Inspector, Super Goof and the Beagle Boys, among others. ‘He was a pioneer of doing funny animal comic books, taking an animated property from the screen and adapting it to the comic book page,’ said Mark Evanier, a TV writer who wrote ‘The Flintstones’ and ‘Super Goof’ comic books when Armstrong was drawing them in the 1970s. Cartoonist Greg Evans, who does the ‘Luann’ comic strip, said Armstrong ‘was just one of those incredibly gifted cartoonists who could effortlessly draw anything in any style.’ Evans, a friend of Armstrong, likened the white-bearded artist to Santa Claus, complete with twinkly eyes. ‘Roger had this kindly, impish, gentle, fun and funny nature,’ he said. As a painter, Armstrong was primarily known for his watercolors. His paintings are in more than 300 private collections and in a number of public collections, including the Museum of Cartoon Art in New York, the Smithsonian Institution and the Laguna Art Museum. ‘His art is really the art of everyday life in Southern California,’ said Jean Stern, executive director of the Irvine Museum, which specializes in the art of California in the early 20th century and has two of Armstrong’s paintings in its collection. ‘He’s one of those artists [who] paint their everyday life and the things and people around them.’ Armstrong, a former president of the National Watercolor Society, served as director of the Laguna Art Museum from 1963 to 1967. Over the last four decades, he taught painting and drawing classes at a number of schools, including Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, the Irvine Fine Arts Center and what is now the Laguna College of Art and Design (formerly the Laguna Beach School of Art and the Art Institute of Southern California). Born in Los Angeles on October 12, 1917 – his father, Roger Dale Armstrong, was a silent film writer and director – Armstrong knew by age 10 that he wanted to be a cartoonist. At 16, he was earning $1 for drawing six ads per week for a local advertising agency. After graduating from high school, he attended Chouinard Art Institute on a scholarship from 1938 to 1939 but was forced by the Depression to quit and find a job. He was working on an assembly line at Lockheed Aircraft in 1941 when he was hired at Western Publishing to draw Bugs Bunny for a new Warner Bros. comic book, ‘Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Comics.’ Armstrong, who also had a stint working as an assistant animator at the Walter Lantz Studio in the 1940s, was the author of ‘How to Draw Comic Strips,’ a 1990 book published by Walter Foster Publishing Inc." Armstrong is survived by his wife, artist Alice Powell, his daughter and two sons. Instead of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Roger Armstrong Scholarship Fund at Laguna College of Art and Design.
Permanent displays of historic (pre-1945) California paintings can be found at the following institutions. (The websites for some of these institutions can be found atwww.californiaart.com at the end of the ‘Galleries’ section.) Arranged North to South.
Grace Hudson Museum, Ukiah – permanent display of Grace Hudson’s studio and changing exhibitions
Shasta State Historic Park, Redding, Ca. – permanent display of selected works from the Boggs Collection
Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, Ca. – artworks on display in gallery of Sonoma County history +
California State Capitol Museum, Sacramento, Ca. – portraits and murals on view throughout the capitol
California State Library Foundation, Sacramento, Ca. – murals and art decorating the library, posters for sale, special exhibits
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento – permanent display of nineteenth century California paintings and occasional special exhibitions of California art.
Haggin Museum, Stockton – permanent display of nineteenth century California paintings
Oakland Museum of California, Oakland – survey of Northern California painting from the mid-nineteenth century to the present plus some examples by Southern California artists. Frequent temporary exhibitions of California art.
California Historical Society, San Francisco – fine art included in changing historical displays
Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco – permanent collection and changing exhibits
Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey – two complexes both having long- and short-term exhibitions of California art; excellent display of the work of Armin Hansen and Jules Tavernier as well as photographs
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara – one gallery devoted to changing exhibitions of California art.
Santa Barbara Historical Society – permanent display of Santa Barbara art and frequent special exhibitions
Beatrice Wood Studio, Ojai -- permanent display of Beatrice Wood lusterware, ceramic tiles and figurative ceramics.
Autry National Center, California Historical Society Gallery, L. A. – paintings and costumes
Los Angeles County Museum of Art – paintings by California artists are included in the American Art galleries.
Hollywood Entertainment Museum, Hollywood – changing exhibits relating to motion pictures (actors, photographers, animation, etc.)
Pasadena Museum of California Art – changing exhibits of California art
Fenyes Mansion and Pasadena Museum of History – permanent exhibit of the Fenyes collection and changing exhibits in the Museum
Society of Motion Picture Arts and Design, Beverly Hills – exhibits related to film artists and costume designers
Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart College, L. A. – serigraphs by Sister Corita Kent, active after World War II
California Heritage Museum, Santa Monica – permanent collection of California’s historic furniture, tiles, decorative arts.
Japanese-American National Museum – changing exhibits of Japanese and Japanese –American artists
Chinese American Museum, Los Angeles – changing exhibitions of historic and modern Chinese-American artists.
Long Beach Museum of Art – one upstairs gallery devoted to California Impressionism; another to modernism and ceramics.
Claremont Museum of Art, Claremont, Ca. – devoted to artists active in Claremont.
Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs – small gallery contains California art; occasional special exhibitions of California art
Chaffey Community Art Association, Rancho Cucamonga – Barbara Line Memorial collection of California artists
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana – permanent and changing exhibits of historic California art
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach – survey of California art with an emphasis on art after 1945. Temporary exhibitions of California art.
Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach – changing exhibitions of all phases of California art.
Irvine Museum, Irvine – changing shows of California Impressionism, 1890-1940.
San Diego Historical Society – occasional special exhibitions of California art
(See earlier Newsletters for exhibits that might still be on view.)
For the Record.
January 24 – March 13, 2002. Ripples: Marguerite Wildenhain and her Pond Farm Students, California State University, San Bernardino, Fullerton Art Museum. Pioneer studio potter who taught ceramics at her farm near Guerneville for 50 years following WWII.
May 17 – August 26, 2007. Presenting Miss Barbara Stanwyck, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Beverly Hills. More than 50 original film posters from the collection of producer Mike Kaplan.
June 9 – September 2, 2007. Legacy and Legend: Images of Indians from Four Centuries, Huntington Library, San Marino. Held in recognition of the 400th anniversary of the meeting of European and Native American peoples in Jamestown. For centuries, European-trained artists created art for audiences that knew little about Indians, and so their images romanticized them and focused on the more dramatic scenarios. When technology made possible prints and illustrated books, artists continued to emphasize the romantic and dramatic to increase salability. This selective view created a skewed interpretation of Indian life and distorted perceptions. When early Hollywood filmmakers first began producing Westerns they turned to the art of previous centuries to see how Indians should be depicted and act. (Generally from the website.) Features rare material from the Huntington’s own collections. Not specifically about California Indians.
June 17 – August 19, 2007. Weird Science: Medicine from the Past, Haggin Museum, Stockton. Advertising art for "some of the most surprising medicinal treatments advertised and prescribed to Stocktonians from the 1880s to 1930s." (from the website)
July 2007. Seascapes and Landscapes of the Northern Coast: Hugo Anton Fisher 1854-1916 and Robert Clifford Rishell 1917-1976, Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery, Bodega Bay, Ca.
July 14 – August 31, 2007. Jules Engel, Master of Animation, Tobey C. Moss Gallery, Los Angeles. Focuses on Engel’s animation. Engel brought fine art aesthetics to animation. His line was kinetic, his forms pulsed rhythmically; he created visual music, even in his geometric structures and paintings. Bold color – even black backgrounds – were ‘signatures’ of his compositions. After groundwork at the Charles Mintz Studio in Hollywood in the early 1930s, he was brought into Walt Disney Studios to replace Oskar Fischinger on Fantasia. Engel taught Disney animators ballet movements so they could animate Fantasia’s Chinese Mushroom Dance and the Russian Thistle Dance. In the early 1940s Engel joined the Army Air Force’s motion picture division where he worked on military training films. After the war, in 1944, he joined the newly founded United Productions of America. By the late 1950s, Engel and partner Herb Klynn formed Format Films. In 1969 he joined the new California Institute of the Arts, founding the Department of Experimental Abstract Animation for film. (from the website)
Ongoing. Now Playing at the Dunn: Hand-Painted Poster Art from the 1910’s through 1950’s, lobby of the Linwood Dunn Theater in the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, 1313 Vine St., Hollywood. (Viewable ONLY when film programs are hosted at the Dunn, i.e. August 11, 18, 19.) "Once regarded as disposable signs to be enjoyed briefly and then changed as quickly as the marquee, early hand-painted movie posters were more often destroyed than saved. [The show] features remarkable, rarely seen works by such artists as Batiste Madalena, Isaac (Ike) Checketts, O. M. (Otto) Wise, and R. J. (Renfred) Rogers. This exhibition also illuminates the differences between exhibit-commissioned posters and their studio-produced counterparts. Madalena’s extravagant rendering of star Pola Negri in a poster for Hotel Imperial is juxtaposed with the studio’s poster for the film Wise’s deeply emotive painting for Raoul Walsh’s The Man Who Came Back can be seen side by side with a corresponding window card." (from the website) Presented in conjunction with the book: Now Playing: Hand-Painted Poster Art from the 1910s through the 1950s. (see "Books" below)
Through August 25, 2007. Helen Lundeberg: Infinite Distance, Louis Stern Fine Arts. Architectural compositions.
Through September 30, 2007 (opened July 28). Weaving Connections: Cultural Exchanges During the Southern California Basket Trade, California Center for the Arts, Escondido. The late nineteenth century passion for collecting Native American baskets not only gave the makers their first inroad into America’s commercial marketplace but affected the shapes and decoration on the baskets themselves.
Through November 25, 2007. Edward Weston: Enduring Vision, The Getty Center, L. A.
Through December 9, 2007. William F. Ritschel: The Poetry of Waves, Monterey Museum of Art. Marine painter based in Carmel Highlands between 1909 and 1949.
Fall 2007. Birth of the Cool, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach. This exhibit will look at the broad cultural zeitgeist of "cool" that influenced the visual arts, graphic and decorative art, architecture, music, and film produced in California in the 1950s and early 1960s. Widespread influence of such mid century architects and designers as John Lautner, Richard Neutra, Harry Bertoia, and Charles and Ray Eames, to name a few, have been well documented. Less well known, however, are the innovations of a group of hard edge painters working during this period including Lorser Feitelson, Helen Lundeberg, Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin, whose work retains a freshness and relevance today. Birth of the Cool revisits West Coast geometric abstract painting within the context of the other dynamic art forms contemporary to it.
August 2007. Sonoma County’s Own, Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery, Bodega Bay, Ca. Group show of Sonoma County artists including work by Grace Allison Griffith, Napoleon Vallejo and others.
August 4 – November 3, 2007. The Nude in California Modernism, Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts, Beverly Hills. A 4-fold brochure with five color reproductions reproduces nudes depicted by Helen Clark Oldfield, Lorser Feitelson, Brents Carlton, Claude Buck and Bernard Zakheim. Associated with the group show is Otis Oldfield and the Nude: From Neo-Realism through Bay Area Figuration, 1935-1948. "In classical antiquity the nude was a revered and frequently depicted artistic subject. Reverence for the subject would wax and wane over the centuries due in part to changing societal mores…. Modernism brought new freedom to artists wishing to express their ideas about the human form. European avant-garde movements influenced to varying degrees California artists." (from the announcement)
August 11 – October 6, 2007. Ray Strong: Hidden Treasures, Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery, Santa Barbara. Strong, an Oak Group founder, died in 2006. This exhibition was inspired by the recent discovery of five early paintings. See more atwww.sullivangoss.com/exhibits/Ray_Strong_2007.asp.
August 11 – October 6, 2007. Richard Haines: An American Modern, Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery, Santa Barbara. Haines is best known for his work of the 1940s through the 1960s when he abstracted representational subject matter such as figures, still lifes and landscapes. The show is accompanied by a four-page brochure that reproduces 10 paintings in color.
August 11 – October 7, 2007. The Urban Myth: Visions of the City, Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery, Santa Barbara. Historic California artists included in this show are Anders Aldrin, Colin Campbell Cooper, Frank Tolles Chamberlin, Edgar Ewing, Fernand Lungren, Dan Lutz, and Ben Messick. A 16-page brochure with more than 20 color reproductions accompanies the show.
August 23 – 26, 2007. 80th Anniversary Exhibit, Carmel Art Association, Carmel. The show consists of past members’ work and will be up for only four days, because of security concerns over a lot of high-priced works. In conjunction will be an all-day "birthday party" on the 25th with the street closed off for festivities, tables of other nonprofits, music, even a birthday cake.
September 2007. Sheep May Safely Graze: Farms and Farm Animals by Famous Early California Painters, Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery, Bodega Bay, Ca.
September 1 – October 14, 2007. Millard Sheets: The Scripps Years, 1932-1955, Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College. The exhibition focuses on Sheets’s dual role as an artist and educator during the years he taught at Scripps, 1932-1955. Besides teaching, Sheets traveled extensively around the world to such places as Hawaii, Mexico, and the Far East. It was Sheets who created the strong Scripps art faculty including Jean Ames in design, Phil Dike in watercolor, Henry Lee McFee in oil, William Manker in ceramics, Albert Stewart in sculpture and Marion Stewart in weaving that made Claremont an art center.
September 7 – 30, 2007. Tapestry of Life: The World of Millard Sheets, Los Angeles County Fair, Pomona. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Millard Sheets’s birth.
September 7 – October 27, 2007. True to Life: Color Photography, 1860-1960, Michael Dawson Gallery, Larchmont Boulevard, L. A. From hand-colored Daguerreotypes to dye transfer prints. Beginning in the nineteenth century, the impetus to add color to the photographic image was fueled by the desire to increase the sale of commercial portraiture as well as landscape views sold to tourists making the "Grand Tour" of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. In the early twentieth century the development of the Autochrome process led to the acceptance of color photography among amateur and artist/photographers such as Californian Karl Struss. By the 1970s, the artistic preference for black and white was fully overcome as color photography was finally accepted as a valid medium for fine art photography. Among the featured photographers are Californians William Henry Jackson, Karl Struss, and William Mortensen. (from the PR release)
September 7, 2007 – January 27, 2008. Our People, Our Land, Our Images, Autry National Center, Griffith Park, Los Angeles. 130 photographs and 10 three-dimensional objects. "Depicts the historical view of Native Americans with images from the Braun Research Library’s collections and new perspectives on contemporary indigenous art…" The Braun Research Library is part of the Southwest Museum in Highland Park, known for its outstanding collections of Native American material.
September 19, 2007 – January 14, 2008. Schulz: His Life in Peanuts, Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa. "Charles Schulz often remarked that to know his strip was to know him. This exhibition of over 70 original Peanuts strips is, in a real sense, Schulz’s ‘autobiography’. Includes childhood memories, friendships, medical issues, his life with five children, etc." (generally from the website)
September 28, 29, 30, 2007. Art International San Francisco, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco. A Fine Art Fair displaying American, European, Pacific Rim, and the Art of California. All media and styles prevalent from the Renaissance.
October 2007. Joshua Meador 1911-1965: Disney Artist, Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery, Bodega Bay, Ca.
October 10, 2007 – January 6, 2008. California Colors: Benjamin Brown, Pasadena Museum of California Art. The second of the Museum’s "California Colors" series, this exhibit focuses on Pasadena landscapist Benjamin Brown, who was active from before the turn of the twentieth century to his death. A full-color exhibition catalog is planned, featuring new scholarship on the artist by Crocker Art Museum curator Scott Shields.
October 10, 2007 – January 6, 2008. Jess: To and From the Printed Page, Pasadena Museum of California Art. "An in-depth look at the work of Jess, a Bay Area collage artist closely allied with the Beat culture of the 1950s." (from the website) Beat artists recycled materials in art objects such as collage and assemblages.
October 13, 2007 – January 14, 2008. Yosemite: Art of an American Icon, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno. From Native basket weavers to landscape greats Thomas Hill and William Keith and contemporary artists and photographers, Yosemite’s 300-year transition from remote haven to national destination is captured in more than 150 artworks. Originated by the Autry National Center in L. A.
October 13, 2007 – January 27, 2008. California College of the Arts: 100 Years in the Making, Oakland Museum of California. A portrait of Bay Area artists and art movements through the 20th century and celebration of the California College of the Arts (CCAC) centennial. The survey includes the renegade plein-air painters known as the Society of Six; production ceramists Edith Head and Jocomena Maybeck; artists of the Bay Area Figurative school, Richard Diebenkorn, Nathan Oliveira, and Manuel Neri; Peter Voulkos, Robert Arneson and Viola Frey, leaders of the studio ceramics movement; minimalist John McCracken and conceptualists David Ireland and Dennis Oppenheim; photorealists Robert Bechtle, Richard McLean, and Jack Mendenhall; and cultural commentators Squeak Carnwath and Raymond Saunders.
October 13, 2007 – March 16, 2008. Artists of Invention: A Century of CCA (California College of the Arts, Oakland), Oakland Museum of California. A survey of work by 100 faculty and alumni of the Oakland-based institution. 120 works (paintings, ceramics, photography, video, sculpture, mixed media, installations, textiles, wood and works on paper) by such artists as the Society of Six, ceramists from the 1950s and 1970s such as Edith Heath and Jacomena Maybeck, and more recent artists.
October 15, 2007 – January 4, 2008. William Lees Judson: Artist, Judson Gallery of Contemporary and Traditional Art (200 South Avenue 66, Los Angeles 90042). More than an artist, William Lees Judson was an art teacher, university administrator and first Dean of the U. S. C. Art Department, a craftsman, author, pioneer, activist and environmentalist, having saved the Arroyo Seco from the perils of industry. This exhibition, held to honor the 110th anniversary of the Judson Studios, presents all aspects of his artistic career: landscapes, figures, drawings and watercolor work. Works are borrowed from the Judson family as well as from other private and public collections. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Curated by Ron Steen. Seewww.JudsonStudios.com.
October 19, 20, 21, 2007. Art International: Pasadena/Los Angeles, The Pasadena Center. A Fine Art Fair of American, European, Pacific Rim, and the Art of California. All media and styles prevalent from the Renaissance.
October 19-21, 2007. Pasadena Heritage Craftsman Weekend 2007. A weekend of lectures, home tours, events in historic homes, bus and walking tours, as well as a furnishing and decorative arts show and sale. For details:www.PasadenaHeritage.org.
November 2007. The Shimmering Visions of Dedrick Brandes Stuber 1878-1954 and Richard Dey DeRibcowsky 1880-1936, Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery, Bodega Bay, Ca.
November 3 - December 16, 2007. Footloose in Arcadia: Piedmont from 1895 through 1915, Hearst Art Gallery at St. Mary’s College, Moraga. "In honor of the city’s centennial celebration, works by and tales about the many artists and writers who lived in Piedmont or found their inspiration, mentors, muses, and patrons among its illustrious residents and beautiful scenery. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition." (from the website)
November 3, 2007 – January 27, 2008. Everett Gee Jackson/ San Diego Modern, 1925-1955, San Diego Museum of Art. Approximately 50 works by San Diego’s most important modernist painter. "A diversified artist, Jackson also … was an outstanding illustrator and lithographer. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute and taught at San Diego State College, where he later became head of the art department. The exhibition includes works from a variety of local and national public and private collections and will be accompanied by a catalogue." (from the website)
The following antiquarian book dealers have substantial holdings of out-of-print books on California art: Arcana on the Santa Monica Mall (310-458-1499), Ken Starosciak in San Francisco (415-346-0650), and Muz Art and Books, Sacramento (no telephone; searchable on www.abebooks.com). If you know a title, it can be searched on www.abebooks.com or www.bibliofind.com to get comparative prices from dealers across the nation. Searching a book on www.oclc.org -- registration is free -- will bring up local libraries that have the book.
Among dealers in new books on California art are the antiquarian dealers cited above, the bookstores of museums that specialize in California art (see list above under ‘Exhibitions’) as well as John Moran Auctioneer in Pasadena, Kerwin Galleries in Burlingame, George Stern Fine Arts in LA, Sullivan-Goss in Santa Barbara, and DeRu’s Fine Arts in Bellflower and Laguna Beach.
Milford Zornes and Bill Anderson, Milford Zornes: Nine Decades with a Master Painter, Kelseyville, Ca.: Earthen Vessel, 2004. 103 pp.
Thomas C. Blackburn, An Artist’s Portfolio: The California Sketches of Henry B. Brown, 1851-52, Malki-Ballena Press, 2006. "Thomas C. Blackburn, professor emeritus of anthropology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, has gathered together in a new book 37 pencil drawings by little-known artist Henry B. Brown (1816-?). Fourteen of these sketches are housed at The Huntington, while the remaining … can be found in libraries at UC Berkeley, Harvard and Brown University…. In 1851 John Russell Bartlett, commissioner of the U. S. and Mexican Boundary Commission, hired Brown to document inhabitants and scenery of the Sacramento Valley and Sierra foothills. This was in the wake of the Gold Rush, and in a few short years disease and famine would overtake the indigenous population… ‘If not for Brown, there would be no visual record from that era of the Indians of California’s Central Valley,’ says Blackburn. While numerous missionaries and explorers documented California’s coastal Indians, the Indians of the state’s Central Valley (the Patwin, Nisenan, Konkow, and Wintun) are less known to historians and anthropologists." (from Huntington Frontiers, Spring/Summer 2007, p. 25.)
Brian Cleff, The Man Who Stopped Time: The Illuminating Story of Eadweard Muybridge – Pioneer Photographer, Father of the Motion Picture, Murderer, Washington, D. C.: Joseph Henry Press, National Academies Press, 2007. 276 pp. 11 illus.
Bram Dijkstra et al., Belle Baranceanu: The Artist at Work, San Diego: San Diego Historical Society, 2006. 64 pp. 68 illus.
Julie Ault, Come Alive! The Spirited Art of Sister Corita, London: Four Corners Books, 2006. 128 pp. 130 illus.
Anne Bloomfield and Arthur Bloomfield, Gables and Fables: A Portrait of San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, Berkeley: Heyday Books, 2007. 408 pp. 111 illus. Victorian architecture.
Robert P. Conway and Arthur C. Danto, June Wayne: The Art of Everything – A Catalogue Raisonne 1936-2006, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2007. 480 pp. 713 illus. Wayne ran Tamarind lithography workshop in Los Angeles from 1959+.
Works from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Santa Rosa: Sonoma County Museum, 2007. 48 pp. 33 col. Ills. Documents a collection of pottery made by Marguerite Wildenhain and exhibited at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Wildenhain began her work in the U. S. immediately following WWII.
Personal Views: Regarding Private Collections in San Diego, San Diego Museum of Art, 2006. 88 pp. 73 illus. Highlights from 25 private collections that include African masks, pre-Columbian ceramic pieces, Classical Greek sculptures and Japanese prints, as well as works in various media by such diverse figures as Rembrandt, Bonnard, Tissot, Hofmann, Homer, Kahlo, de Kooning, Ruscha and Opie.
John Szarkowski and J. B. Colson, Russell Lee: Photographs – Images from the Russell Lee Photograph Collection at the Center for American History, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007. Lee began photographing in California in the 1930s.
Anthony Slide, Now Playing: Hand-Painted Poster Art from the 1910s through the 1950s, Los Angeles: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science in conjunction with Angel City Press, 2007. 160 pp. People had always assumed that the studio-approved printed posters that were routinely sent out to theaters were what appeared on display in the lobbies. However, individual theaters and regional theater chains, such as Paramount-Publix and Fox West Coast theaters, had their own in-house poster artists who designed groups of posters for display purposes; posters intended to meet the needs of the individual theaters and their display area and to appeal to local audiences. (from the website)
Amid Amidi, Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in 1950s Animation, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2006.
A Tapestry of Life: The World of Millard Sheets, with essays by Tony Sheets and Janet Blake, Pomona: Millard Sheets Gallery, 2007. 100 pps.
Thomas Cripps, et al., Close Up in Black, Beverly Hills, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, c. 2001. 150 pp. 125 color repros. Posters for films with black casts (1921-2001) from the Edward Mapp Collection in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Margaret Herrick Library.
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery publishes a monthly magazine on its site on the webwww.bbhgallery.com. In the first five issues there have been substantive biographical articles on Thelma Gladys Speed Houston, Dedrick Brandes Stuber, Grace Myrtle Allison Griffith, and on the potential demolition of John Hilton’s desert home
Leslie Falick, "AAC Visits Dwight Stuart, Jr.’s Beverly Hills Home," American Art Council Newsletter, v. 34, no. 3, May 30, 2007, p. 4. "Mr. Stuart told us that the thirteen thousand square foot three-story house is only two and a half years old, although it looks as if it’s been on the property for at least fifty years…. Mr. Stuart began collecting about ten years ago when he made his first purchase of a small Edgar Payne landscape. He then acquired mostly California landscape paintings by such artists as John Frost, Guy Rose, William Wendt and Granville Redmond. Thom Gianetto of the Edenhurst Gallery explained the significance of many of these paintings and answered our questions as the group was taken from the living room with its lovely John Frost painting over the fireplace, its Paynes, Wendts, a Percy Gray watercolor and a Guy Rose seascape in an original Stanford White frame, to the large wood-paneled den where we saw more paintings, plus a collection of Roseville pottery housed in niches above the book shelves. After a visit to the large hallway and then to the formal dining room, Thom then took the group upstairs to see more Frost, Wendt and Rose paintings in the upper hallway and master bedroom. Several lovely Marion Wachtel watercolors were not to be missed in the upstairs den." (from the Newsletter)
Peter Selz, "A Painter’s Journey: Frank Lobdell," art ltd., July 2007, pp. 32-36. San Francisco Abstract Expressionist.
August 24, 2007, 2:00 p.m. Jean Stern will head an Art Symposium at Maynard Dixon Country 07, held at the historic property of Maynard Dixon in Mt. Carmel, Utah.
September 18, 2007, 12 noon. Janet Blake will talk on "Millard Sheets: A Tapestry of Life" in the Hampton Room, Malott Commons, Scripps College. For information call 909-607-4690.
August 2, 2007, 2-7 p.m. Reception and Special screening of animated films by Jules Engel at the Tobey C. Moss Gallery, Los Angeles. Included will be a selection of films from UPA productions (such as The Jaywalker, Gerald McBoing Boing) and animation from the TV series The Boing Boing Show. Special guest Amid Amidi will sign copies of his newest book, Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in 1950s Animation.
October 15, 2007 – January 4, 2008. Group Tours of the William Lees Judson Exhibition and Judson Studios Workshop, Wednesdays, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tour approximately 1 ½ hr. long. $10/person. Call 800-445-8376.
November 10, 2007, 4-6 p.m. Antonio Corsi: The World’s Most Famous Artist’s Model" an illustrated lecture by Jake Gorst, Documentary Producer and Director, Judson Studios, Highland Park. Reservations required 800-445-8376. Antonio Corsi’s life changed for ever when he was invited by William Lees Judson, Dean of the U. S. C’s School of Fine Art, to work as a model at the school. Corsi traveled across the country to settle in Highland Park in 1911, living right around the corner from the school. He stayed there until his death in 1924. This documentary reveals the profession of an artist’s model in its historical context focusing on the fascinating life of this Southern California artist’s model. Corsi modeled for such renowned artists as Daniel Chester French, Edward Burne Jones, Frederick Leighton, John Singer Sargent, Alma Tadema and Edmund Tarbell. (from the PR release)
March 20, 2008. "Plein Air" from Giverny to the Arroyo, an illustrated lecture by Prof. Ron Steen, Gamble House, Pasadena. (The Sidney Gamble Lecture Series 2007-2008). For details seewww.GambleHouse.org.
For the websites of the many ‘bricks and mortar’ auction galleries dealing with American paintings, see Publications in California Art, No. 9, newsletter for November 1999. For the most up-to-date auction prices, see www.artprice.com at $1.00 per entry or at www.artnet.com or www.askart.com if you are a member. Auction Galleries that hold special sales of historic California art include Butterfields, which can be viewed at www.bonhams.com; or www.butterfields.com/calam; Christies at www.christies.com, and John Moran at www.johnmoran.com.
August 7, 2007. California and American Paintings and Sculpture, Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Oct. 23, 2007. California & American Paintings, John Moran, Pasadena.
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