Mary R. Dewing

This painting by Mary R.Dewing is oil on canvas board measures 9×11 inch. It is part of the Farhat Art Museum collection. In this painting is a figurative portrait of a young woman smoking a cigarette at a social event. This type of social butterfly, woman was called a debutante.

Born in New York City, Maria Oakey Dewing was a descendent from her father of Gilbert Stuart. Her mother was an upper class Bostonian who wrote for Scribner’s magazine. She studied painting at the Cooper Union School of Design for Women and with John LaFarge at the National Academy of Design. She also studied in Italy, London and France. In 1875 she participated in the formation of the Art Students League.
In addition to her artistic pursuits, Maria wrote articles poems and three books during the late 1870’s and 1880’s. According to her biographers, Maria Oakey’s ambition to be a figure painter was curtailed by her marriage to Thomas Wilmer Dewing in 1881. When the Dewings moved to Cornish, NH in 1886, Maria working from her flower garden in their home named Doveridge, took a special interest in botany and the structural make-up of flowers.
She won medals at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893) and at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo (1901), and then in 1907 earned a one-person exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, a very rare honor for a woman at the time. Despite her success, Maria Dewing painted relatively few works, which rarely become available (two florals done in Cornish were sold at auction by Sotheby’s in New York in 2000 and 2001 for over a million dollars). It is estimated that she painted about one-hundred works in her lifetime, fifteen of which have been located at this time.

She is in the permanent collection of the following museums: the National Gallery of Art, the Addison Gallery of American Art, Mount Saint Mary’s College and Seminary, the Hood Museum, the High Museum of Atlanta, the Detroit Art Institute, and the Art Museum of Western Virginia.
Biography from The Parrish House Museum

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Grace Hudson

This painting by G. Hudson of a Indian Girl with Kachina is 14×8 inch oil on canvas. It is part of the Farhat Art Museum fine art collection of American Indian.


Grace Hudson was born, lived most of her life, and died in Potter Valley, near Ukiah, California. The daughter of a newspaperman and photographer, she became interested in Native Americans as a young girl, and this was to become her specialty as an adult artist.

At age 14, Hudson left Potter Valley to study at the School of Design in San Francisco with Virgil Williams, Raymond Yelland, Domenico Tojetti, and Oscar Kunath. Upon completion of her studies in 1884, she returned to the Ukiah area where she began teaching painting. Five years later she opened her own studio.

The following year, in 1890, Grace married John Hudson, a doctor who gave up his medical career to work for Chicago’s Field Museum as an ethnologist and researcher on the local Pomo Indians. Her husband’s career change was to have a profound influence on Hudson’s own art career. Perhaps the pivotal event which led her to an exclusive concentration on Native Americans, and particularly children, as subjects, however, happened in Chicago in 1893. Hudson had exhibited a painting of a crying Indian baby called Little Mendocino at the World Columbian Exposition. The work received enormous critical acclaim and convinced the artist to focus all her efforts in this area.

 

grace carpenter hudson

 

Farhat Art Museum Collection

Hudson did suspend her Native American paintings briefly during a 1901 trip to Hawaii, where she began to paint Chinese and Japanese children. She soon switched to figure paintings of native Hawaiian children, and these portraits were later exhibited in San Francisco to great admiration. In 1904 Hudson was commissioned by her husband’s employer, the Field Museum, to paint portraits of Pawnee Indians in Oklahoma. The commission included painting chiefs and elders. Though older tribal members were often suspicious about having their images recorded, because of her long-term relationship with her Native neighbors in Ukiah Hudson was able to gain their trust.

Hudson gained fame for her specialized art and was a frequent contributing artist and illustrator to periodicals such as Sunset, Cosmopolitan, and Western Field. Despite her success in some circles, in her own time Hudson’s art was criticized for it subject matter, considered by some as “unworthy.” The great irony is that it is now considered by some as “too sentimental.” The Pomo Indians who lived in the area, and whom she painted so skillfully, did befriend her and called her “Painter Lady.” She and her husband had a totem pole erected in front of their house, and in general, were interested in all things Native. Whether or not she lost her objectivity when painting her subjects, her work is masterful in documenting their lives and culture.

Sources:
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art
David Forbes: Encounters With Paradise
William Gerdts: Art Across America, vol 3;
Edan Hughes: Artists in California 1786-1940
Samuels and Samuels: Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West

Written by: Sarah Nelson
Douglas Frazer Fine Art, Ltd.

Christian Henri Roullier

This nineteenth century painter was born 1845 in Lyon, France. Roullier was a small child when he was brought to San Francisco with the Gold Rush. He later returned to France to study in Paris France with Leon Gerome, as did many other artists from around Europe and United States. Roullier first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1887. Then moved to San Francisco . Little known about him as an artist and his art work is very rare due to unknown reasons. He was a member of Bohemian Club in San Francisco. He also exhibited at San Francisco Art Association in 1888 and at the San Francisco Institute in the late nineteenth century. His work is held in Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford University and the Bohemian Club, SF. Farhat Art Museum, Beirut Lebanon. Roullier died in Paris in 1926.
His rare works include figure studies, portraits, and landscapes.he was a member of Bohemian Club. Exh: SFAA, 1876, 1882, 1884, 1893; Paris Salon, 1878-1914; Calif. State Fair, 1883; Mechanics’ Inst. (SF), 1883, 1893; Salon d’Hiver (Paris), 1926 (memorial). In: Stanford Art Gallery (Josiah Stanford); Bohemian Club (Tavernier in the Grove ).

Many of the nineteenth artists who immigrated to the United States from Europe had left large number of their work behind and some who lived in San Francisco prior to the 1906 earthquake lost their work to the destruction of the 1906 earthquake fire. This example by C.H. Roullier in the Farhat Art Museum is a classic example of nineteenth century romanticism genre.

This painting is an oil on canvas measuring 28X21 inches. Depicted in this painting is a young woman holding a young bird who seems to have fallen from it’s nest. The surroundings are of early Spring where a parasol is seen abandoned among the spring flowers and grasses. In this composition, the artist makes the connection between the young woman with rosy cheeks, the newly overgrown spring grasses and the helpless nestling giving the mothering/nurturing subject to the painting.
Source:
Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940”
Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs (Bénézit, E); Ferdinand Perret Files; California Historical Society.

william Russell Flint

In December 1969, Sir William Russell Flint died, aged 89, leaving behind one of the finest and most sought after collections of watercolours.
Born in Edinburgh, 4th April 1880, his remarkable talent was discovered at an early age.
Having been a student at the Royal Institution School of Art in Edinburgh, and serving a six year apprenticeship at a large printing works, he decided to move to London to become a medical illustrator at the age of 20.
In 1903 he joined the Illustrated London News, which took his talents to the far reaches of the British Empire thanks to its extensive distribution.
He married Sibylle Sueter in 1905 and eventually became a freelance artist in 1907, which lead him to illustrate a number of classical limited editions such as Mallory’s Morte D’Arthur, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Homer’s Odyssey.
He served in the First World War and became Admiralty Assistant Overseer – Airships. This took him back to his native Scotland, where in 1919 he painted a tiny watercolour called Hilda’s Bonnet on the linen of a fragment of HM Airship 24, which he had previously commanded.
Post World War I, William Russell Flint’s artistic career began to flourish. He painted in France and Spain (until the Civil War), where he produced wonderful paintings reflecting the local scenery and culture.
He was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1924, full member in 1933 and in 1936 became President of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour. After living in Devon during the Second World War, he and his wife moved back to London where the post war period became Russell Flint’s greatest.
His talent with both the watercolour medium and his skill in depicting the female form created a hallmark style which would later become legendary.
In 1947 William Russell Flint was knighted. In 1962 his work was acknowledged by a retrospective exhibition in the Diploma Gallery of the Royal Academy. At the time, Charles Wheeler, the President, paid tribute to the artist, describing his watercolour technique as a ‘baffling skill’.

Biography from The Gallery of Art and Audio

Otis Oldfield

The following was submitted February 2005 by Jayne Oldfield Blatchly, daughter of the artist and trustee of the Otis Oldfield Estate and Archives.

Born in Sacramento, California, third child of the master grainer for the Southern Pacific Railroad, Otis Oldfield left school in 1906 to apprentice at a local print shop. Next he job-hopped on the railroads from Nevada to Montana and Idaho. He then enrolled in Best’s Art School, San Francisco in 1909, working nights as a bellhop at the Argonaut Hotel and the Cliff House.

He sailed for France in 1911, where in Paris he attended Academie Julian until 1913. In France during the World War I, he learned bookbinding while residing in Bouffemont. By 1919, he was back in Paris living in his studio at 70 Rue de Rochechouart and had started showing at the Salon d’Automne. His work received American as well as French recognition. In 1923 and 1924 he exhibited at the Societe des Artistes Independants.
He returned to the U.S. in 1924, briefly staying in his studio at Sacramento until he established himself at the “Monkey Block” in San Francisco. After offering small private studio classes throughout that year he was hired to teach a class called Painting in the Modern Manner at the California School of Fine Arts.

In 1925, he had two one-man shows at the Galerie Beaux Arts and was awarded the Gold Medal for Graphic Arts by the San Francisco Art Association. In 1926 he married, moved to Telegraph Hill and had his first child. He became a full professor on the staff of the California School of Fine Arts and had another one-man show at the Galerie Beaux Arts of his new California landscapes.
In 1929 he had his first one-man exhibit at the Montross Gallery in New York followed by another at the end of that year. In 1930, he decorated the Bar Windows on the top floor at the new Pacific Stock Exchange Club and had a third one man show at the Montross Gallery in New York. This was followed by solo exhibits at the Harriman, Lambertson-Brownell and Down-Town Galleries there.
In 1931, he had a one-man show at the Galerie Beaux Arts featuring a group of new marine watercolors made during a trip on the codfishing schooner “Louise”. He was included in the Exhibition of American Art at the Whitney Museum in New York in 1933. He went on to win First Prize at the California State Fair in 1934 for his painting titled “Figure”.. In that year he was also appointed as one of the W.P.A. muralists to decorate Coit Tower. He had a major solo exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1936 and also at the Art Center. The year rendered the first showing of the W.P.A. appointed lithograph series Building the Bay Bridge, at the M.H. deYoung Memorial Museum.

In 1938 his paintings showed a bold and vivid, frankly impressionistic change of style, which upset critics in spite of the award in 1939 from the San Francisco Art Association of the Parilia Prize to his new invigorated work. He was awarded the Governor Olsen Medal when “Figure” was chosen from among 350 American works for a year’s exhibit at the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. At the end of the war, he designed Welcome Home decorations for the San Francisco Port of Embarkation docks after working as a draftsman at Fort Mason for the duration.

In 1946, he became assistant professor of painting and drawing at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. This year he purchased his first summer home in the Sierra’s Gold Country at Gold Run. In 1960 he moved close by to a cabin in the woods at Alta. He spent many hours making on-site paintings in the wild mountainous surroundings of these historic landscapes.

In 1947, he had a one-man show at the Lucien Labaudt Art Gallery and won the Anna Klumpke Portrait Award at the San Francisco Art Association Annual. In 1954 he had a one-man show at Beatrice Judd Ryan’s Rotunda Gallery.

Otis Oldfield retired from his college teaching career in 1952. He continued teaching several evening classes in his home studio for seventeen more years, during which he often painted miniature still lifes with oil on paper. His larger works were developing an imaginative visionary aspect.

He died in 1969, just as the printing of the limited edition of “Louise, a Pictorial Journal” was completed by the Grabhorn Hoyem Press. There was a solo memorial exhibition at the Lucien Labaudt Art Gallery in 1971 and a retrospective one-man show at the Charles Campbell Gallery in 1976.

In 1927, Otis Oldfield became a charter member of the California Guild of Book Binders and was also a member of the Artist’s Council of the San Francisco Art Association for fifteen years. He was an artist member of the Family Club for thirty years and was elected to membership by the Federation of Western Artists in Los Angeles during the 1930s.

His works on paper are in the Achenbach Foundation of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Brooklyn Museum of New York and the W.L. Smith Memorial Gallery at Shasta State Historical Park. The Oakland Museum owns many works, including the entire set of W.P.A. lithographs on permanent loan from the M.H. deYoung Memorial Museum and his most famous painting “Figure”. The Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University owns an oil painting of the San Francisco waterfront. The National Museum of American Art and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. maintain lithographs from the Building the Bay Bridge series as well as entries for many of the W.P.A. mural projects in their permanent collections.

The Coit Tower Mural, Shipping Activities Inside the Golden Gate and the City Club of San Francisco Bar Windows (formerly Stock Exchange Club), Sporting Activities, can be seen during visiting hours regularly.
Biographical materials are available on microfilm at the Archives of American Art in Golden Gate Park. Of note also is the W.P.A. monograph: “California Art Research” (through 1937) and Yvonne Greer Thiel’s book: “Artists and People” (through 1959). Inkwell Publishing produced a 104 page halftone illustrated catalog (through 1990): “Otis Oldfield, Centennial Exhibit”
Otis Oldfield is featured in Ruth Westphal’s 1991 book “American Scene Painting – California 1930’s and 1940’s”.
The K.C.O.E.-TV Foundation used Oldfield’s Self Portrait – 1933 in a 1996 video: Impressions of California..
Recently Oldfield’s work has been included in the exhibitions “California Dreamin’ ” at the Fresno Museum, 1992; “Facing Eden” at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, 1995; “California Progressives” at the Orange County Museum of Art, 1996-97; “Picturing California’s Other Landscape” at the Haggin Museum in Stockton, 1999; and “Made in California”, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2000. Five works hung in the George Krevsky Gallery’s “California Regionalism” exhibit in 2002.

In 2004, Oldfield was included in “California Modernist Works on Paper” and in 2005, “The Figure in California Modernism” at the Spencer Jon Helfen Gallery in Beverly Hills. Oldfield’s portrait “Yun Gee” was purchased from the exhibit by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for its permanent collection.
Periodical Reference: Raymond Wilson, ‘Otis Oldfield, A Painter for His Times’, “Antiques and Fine Art 1990”.