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BBH Gallery Sign April 2008
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery Monthly

News, Articles, and Opinions
from the world of California’s Heritage Art

Preview our gallery exhibits online
WPA California Style Watercolors (through April)
19th Century Painters of Northern California (May and June)

1580 Eastshore Road, PO Box 325, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, 707-875-2911 (map)
email: Art@BodegaBayHeritageGallery.com | www.BodegaBayHeritageGallery.com

In this issue:

- Explore the WPA Murals of San Francisco
- How did San Francisco's art shops look 100 ago? Lucy B. Jerome of the San Francisco Call leads a tour.
- Linda and Dan take time off in Monterey and Carmel & visit the MMA (Monterey Museum of Art)
- Issues to watch out for in framing oil paintings
- Gallery Notes -- "what our neighboring galleries are up to"
- Museum links: exhibits relating to Early California Art

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Explore the
WPA Murals
of San Francisco

The following information is part of an exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library.
75th Anniversary of the New Deal
San Francisco Public Library -- Main Library, Sixth floor
Exhibit 1: A New Deal for San Francisco-Thanks to WPA!

- Civic improvements to parks, streets & public buildings;
arts & theatre programs; controversies & labor unrest.

Learn more about SF WPA Art
SF WPA Mural Coit Tower 2. Coit Tower -- Over twenty fresco and oil on canvas murals were completed in 1924 by the following artists: Maxine Albro, Victor Arnautoff, Jane Berlandina, Ray Bertrand, Ray Boyton, Ralph Chesse, Rinaldo Cuneo, Ben F. Cunningham, Mallette Dean, Parker Hall, Edith Hamlin, George Harris, William Hesthal, John Langley Howard, Lucien Labaudt, Gordon Langdon, Jose Joya del Pino, Otis Oldfield, Fred Olmsted, Suzanne Scheuer, Ralph Stackpole, Edward Teranda, Frede Vidar, Clifford Wright and Bernard Baruch Zakhein.
1. San Francisco Maritime Museum -- Polk Street at Aquatic Park contains a total of four mural works completed between 1930 and 1940 by contributing artists Richard Ayer, Thomas Dowley, Hilaire Hiler, Lawrence Holmberg and Sargent Johnson. SF WPA Mural Map
3. City Hall, Assessor's Office 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlet Place, Civic Center, Map of San Francisco by Marion Simpson, 20' x 50', oil on canvas, 1939.
4. Mission High School Library -- 18th Street and Doleres Blvd. "The Missions" (Civilization and Mission San Francisco De Assisi) by Edith Hamlin. 2 panels, 6' x 24' each, fresco, 1937.
6. Laguna Honda Hospital -- 375 Laguna Honda Blvd. "Fire, Earth, Water, Air (Steel, Farming, Fishing, Flight, Man's Occupations) by Glen Wessels 8' x 6' oil on canvas, 1934.
Diego Rivera Mural
5. San Francisco City College -- Phelan and Ocean Aves. A leading attraction during the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition was the Mexican Muralist Diego Rivera, painting this fresco as part of the "Art in Action" program.
7. UCSF Hospital -- Parnassus at 3rd Ave. "History of Medicine in California" by Bernard Baruch Zakheim, with Phyllis Wrightson and Koi Andersen, fresco, 1938, 10 panels approximately 4' 5" x 14' 2" each. 8. San Francisco Zoo -- One Zoo Rd. (Sloat Blvd, near the Great Highway). Contains three murals completed in 1934 and 1938 by Helen Bruton, Helen Forbes and Dorothy Wagner Puccinelli. Beach Chalet -- 1000 Great Highway at Ocean Beach, San Francisco Scenes by Lucien Labaudt, 1937, 9' high, approximately 1,500 square feet.)
10. George Washington High School -- 32nd Ave and Anza. Contains four fresco murals completed in 1935 and 1926 by Victor Arnautoff, Lucien Labaudt, Gordon Langdon and Ralph Stackpole. 11. Roosevelt Junior High School -- 460 Arguello Blvd. Contains two murals completed in 1934 by Nelson Pool and George Wilson Walker.

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How did San Francisco's art shops look 100 years ago?
Lucy B. Jerome, art reporter for the San Francisco Call,
describes some of the works she saw
as part of a gallery and art shop tour in the summer of 1909.

One hundred years ago, San Francisco's active artists were well known, so much so that newspaper articles could refer to them by using only their last names. Persons like Gordon Coutts, Arthur Best, Nels Hagerup, L. P. Latimer, Carl Jonnevold and Giuseppe Cadenasso were once referred to in the present tense.

The San Francisco Call Bannerhead

Some Work of San Francisco Artists Interest All Lovers of Pictures
by Lucy B. Jerome
The San Francisco Call, June 13, 1909

Though city studios are largely deserted and sketching trips are the order of the day, a number of paintings by the local artists are to be seen at the several art shops. These comprise work of both recent and earlier date. Willis Davis, for instance, has a brilliant study of springtime, depicting the square corner of an old adobe house with a trellised passageway, over which great bunches of spring flowers droop and sway in glowing richness. A cluster of red geraniums in full sunlight forms a striking color note, while bushes of blue pelargoniums, white April lilies and tiny pink opening buds make an ensemble at once vivid and soft. The sunlight falls in a broad bar across the grayish white of the adobe, adding to the effect of glistening luster and intense life, which is the dominant impression the canvas conveys.

In the same building is a painting by Gordon Coutts, somewhat after the French fashion, and depicting a picture decidedly French in type. A corner of a garden or park -- it may be Golden Gate -- reveals a number of benches in the warm sunlight, filled by women and children in particolored gowns, evidently out for a holiday. The violent red of the hats worn by two or three women, the flashing pink stockinged legs of the children and the more subdued note, struck by the more somber attire of the men, aided by the intense green of the quivering trees thrown out against a dark archway make a study of light, brilliant coloring quite attractive both in composition and in its unusual brightness.

Eugen Neuhaus is represented by a strong piece of composition entitled “Where the Waves Break.” a wide stretch of dark blue sea with a few powerfully delineated rocks at the right of the foreground and a white swirl of water among the brown shadows. this is one of the strongest and most individual paintings that Neuhaus has produced, and in contrast with his quieter and more pastoral scenes is interesting. Newhaus is said to have discovered in Benicia a new Mecca for artists who roam the country in search of exquisite bits of landscape to paint, which, he says, is fully equal to Monterey or Carmel in paintable nooks and which he considers full of charm, both historic and pictorial. At present he is on the spot himself sketching, and fired with enthusiasm, expects to have material which will result in a number of distinctive canvases when the sketches are worked out and placed before the public.

Chapel Judson has a magnificent sky effect of white masses of breaking clouds hanging low over a running stream which meanders placidly along between wooded banks. This is conceived in his usual poetical style and is handled in a broad, interpretative manner which conveys a clear impression of the scene rendered. Near this is a large canvas -- one of Valencia’s -- picturing an old house on the crest of a lonely hill in the moonlight. The work is striking by reason of certain impressiveness in the spacing, though somewhat rigid in composition.

One of the best things Arthur Best has done is on view at a dealer’s on Van Ness avenue and is called “Storm Over Tamalpais.” Large dignity, solemnity and something of the grandeur and loneliness of the mountains are seen in this work, in which the cloud effects are well handled and the feeling of impending rain and wind quite apparent. The canvas is ambitious and augurs well for a continuance of this line of work. Alice Best has two good portraits of two young women -- one of Miss Keightley, the other of Miss Parker, a Hawaiian by birth, both of which are interesting studies painted in Mrs. Best’s usual pleasing style.

Hagerup has a good strong canvas of the Golden gate -- a glowing sunset against a dark expanse of waters, with the dark outlines of the forts showing through the suggested mists that seem creeping up to veil the land. While pitched in a somber key, the painting is yet infused with a radiant softness and an enveloping effulgence which tempers the sensation of melancholy induced by the first glance. These marine scenes of Hagerup’s have received commendation from several painters, who perceive the strength of conception and vigor of handling that marks them.

The extremely interesting small water colors are the two geese pictures by Ethel Wickes, who, with her sister, had a studio in San Francisco three years ago, but who since then has joined the colony of art workers at Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. One of these pictures shows a line of white, pink billed geese, with wings placidly folded and a general air of deserved content about them, heading for home in a narrow goose path over the quiet hills. The geese are singularly well drawn and placed, and the effect of the darkening hills with a skyline of evening beauty and the single goose line waddling in a comfortable serenity along is at once interesting and amusing. The other sketch shows the same geese at feeding time, and presents all the characteristics of a country scene at that hour.

At Cadenasso’s studio on the brow of Russian hill are to be seen four new canvases -- all picturing the artist’s favorite subject -- the poetical, mysterious eucalyptus tree. Cadenasso claims to be the first painter to discover and render on canvas the beauty of the eucalyptus on the Pacific coast and it is asserted that in so doing he has struck a new note in landscape painting. Originality and poetic feeling are the ends for which this painter strives, and viewing the purple misted masses of trees which he has painted in the largest of these new pictures with his usual delicate interpretative power one can not deny that they are rendered with real feeling and insight into their moods.

Cadenasso is distinctly a painter of the flat lands, and his work representing a scene near Lake Aliso, an evening subject where the last rays of light are just passing, is full of exquisite beauty tinged by the faint melancholy which all such scenes possess. His “Moonrise on the Marsh,” also a eucalyptus presentation, shows excellent tone values and gradations, and a third work, picturing eucalypti so pale as to be barely visible, depicts the trees as seen through a veil of fog.

Cadenasso said that he had work which had been sold to two private galleries in the east -- those of Arthur E. Childs in Boston and Richard Ford in New York -- and that the eucalyptus as a paintable subject had found much favor there.
L. P. Latimer intends taking a sketching class for a month of July to Cazadero and vicinity, where there are some of the most beautiful redwood studies to be found in the state. On his return he expects to be actively engaged in working up these sketches and some delightful results may be looked forward to by those who appraise this painter’s work at its true value.
E. W. Currier is fishing at Glen Alpine lake near Tahoe, where he is landing the finny beauties at a highly encouraging rate. Currier’s trout studies will be remembered by those who saw them last year. Fish depiction is rather rare, but interesting from a fisherman’s point of view, as well as from that of the painter.

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Linda and Dan take time off in Monterey and Carmel
and visit the two sites of the MMA (Monterey Museum of Art)
Monterey Art Museum Pacific Street
MMA Pacific Street is located across from historic Colton Hall
Monterey Art Museum La Miranda
Located in one of Monterey's oldest neighborhoods, MMA La Mirada is the city’s crown jewel with its magnificent gardens surrounded by picturesque stone walls.
In March, Linda and Dan visited the two campuses of the Monterey Museum of Art. One is in a historic adobe, and a tour is provided. The other, on Pacific Street near downtown, houses the Early California paintings we were interested in. The upstairs galleries had a few interesting examples, including some nice small paintings by Benigino Yamero Ruiz and Xavier Martinez.
Martine Inn Pacific Grove The main gallery was devoted to the large and vivid canvases of Armin Hansen and William Ritschel, most of them part of the museum's permanent collection. Leftover copies of a softbound book from a prior exhibition on Armin Hansen were available for only $10.
We were pleased to stay at Martine Inn in Pacific Grove. Gracing the walls of this old inn are old California paintings of Monterey and Carmel. You can see how the Monterey Peninsula looked through artist's eyes almost 100 years ago. The aquarium was within easy shoreline walking distance.

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Issues to watch out for in framing oil paintings

When you reframe, or put back into its frame, a 50 or 100 year old oil painting, would you want to have new long nails driven through its stretcher bars and canvas edges, into the frame? Of course not.

For a painting on a flat material such as artists board, would you want glazers points or headed nails or the like, that scrape and poke into the back of the board? And, since the idea is that the painting will have a long life, and be inspected and need maintenance of various sorts such as cleaning and revarnishing, would you want someone to have to dig out those nails or points, etc., in the future? For that matter, imagine the shocks to the painting as the nails are applied. No; if you are thinking ahead, you wouldn't choose any of those things. Our gallery deals with century-old stretcher bars, and the idea that some framer would drive a few more long nails into them is alarming, particularly when there are many alternatives available, none of which are expensive. Yet we were shocked once to have used an unfamiliar but not inexpensive framer to put ornate framing on a valuable 100-year-old large seascape, and to have gotten it back nailed in. Plus, the framer fitted the frame so tightly that the canvas rippled and was loose.

There is clamping hardware readily available that attaches to the frame rather than the artwork itself. For stretched canvases, we favor "offset clips" that come in various depths. For flat supports such as board, we favor the little arrows of a Fletcher spring-loaded device, not only because they are not as sharp as glasers points, but principally because a tool slides them back out of the frame rabbet without prying or digging for them against the canvasboard or panel. Offset clips can often be applied to hold in paintings that do not protrude beyond the frame by fastening them "upside down" as compared to the usual way. There are also swivelling fasteners with or without tension.

Stretched paintings also change in size. They should have a reasonable amount of tension on the canvas, so that they are not flapping back and forth, exerting mechanical force on the pigment's adherence to the ground or neighboring pigment and varnish. Some framers assume that they should leave only the tiny 1/8-inch standard allowance. But old paintings often need more than this. They can be larger after being cleaned, for example, because the old canvas does not bounce back very well. The extra room around the painting can have cushiony spacing material to make sure the painting stays in the desired location and does not rub.

Finally, the lip of the rabbet where it overlaps the face of the painting requires attention. Materials migrate over time. Gold or metal leaf can become embedded into the varnish or pigment and be virtually impossible to remove without damage. Varnish takes a long time to truly cure. In the meantime, the porosity of a wood lip may have more adhesive attraction to the varnish and pigment than what the painting was painted on, resulting in losses stuck to the frame. The lip may have irregularities that scratch or indent the painting's edges. Lining the lip makes sense. We currently use removable acid-free artist's tape, figuring that it provides some cushioning, and that if anything adheres to it, the tape is likely to give up its hold on one surface or the other, rather than rip the paint off the painting. We have seen felt-like linings on some high-end frames that would provide good protection against frame-rub.

While we all may tend to assume that a framer will apply expertise that we should not challenge, when dealing with someone whose practices are unknown, asking a few simple questions can save heartache.

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Gallery Notes

Fishermans Festival Logo 08 35th Annual Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival
Saturday & Sunday, April 12-13, 2008
Info: 707-875-3866
Plan a trip out, see the fishing boat parade and the blessing of the fleet.
Have a bowl o' chowder, and stop by the gallery.
(Linda is serving as one of the judges of the fishing boat decoration contest.)

News of our gallery's New Hudson River School artist: On April 12, 2008,
as part of the Hudson River Quadricentennial Celebration, a concert and multi-media performance will take place at "The Egg" performance center in Albany, NY, Empire State Plaza. The performance will include a concert by violinist/fiddler legend Mark O'Connor, with Saugerties painter Ellen Perantoni's painting "Ten O'Clock at the Pond" projected as a backdrop. The performance will be repeated during 2008-2009 in Peekskill, New York City, Oswego and Lake Placid. For info see http://www.theegg.org/events/412

Bodega Bay dot com logo

See our gallery on Video
BodegaBay.com recently produced a fine video, featuring Bodega Bay sights and businesses. With a full film crew in tow, they recorded our Desert Show and interviewed Dan on camera. Visit their site and check it out.
Our Previous Exhibition Booklets are available for the
"California Style WPA Watercolors" & "Painters of the Desert" exhibits.
Booklets will be available at the end of April for our new exhibit,
Early California Art: 19th Century Painters of Northern California
Our Archives page offers an opportunity
to peruse our previous gallery exhibits and monthly newsletters.

What are our neighboring galleries up to these days?
Local Color Gallery Local Color Gallery
Glassworks '08: Saturday April 5 - May 18
Linda Reed, Nancy Roberts, Mary Oudeman, Dell Jacoby, Sher Morris Tice
Blue Whale Center (same Building as Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery)
1580 Eastshore Road, Bodega Bay, 707-875-2744
Ren Brown Collection The Ren Brown Collection
located an hour north of San Francisco in Bodega Bay.
The gallery was established in 1989 and specializes in contemporary art from both sides of the Pacific. On Hwy 1 just a short stroll from the other two galleries.
Current Show: work by Daniel Kelly, Katsunori Hamanishi, Ryohei Tanaka, Seiko Tachibana, Robert DeVee & other gallery artists.
West County Design Center West County Design offers fine wood tables, polished concrete vanities, counter tops and furniture, glass, ceramic, wood, metal, custom and limited edition art and furniture for home & office.
Of special note, the photography of Jerry Dodrill is on exhibit as well.
14390 Highway One • Valley Ford, CA 94972 • 707.876.1963
(Across from the Valley Ford Hotel and Rocker Oysterfeller's Restaurant)
Christopher Queen Gallery Christopher Queen Galleries in Duncans Mills on the Russian River presents its annual "Frugal Collector" show (through April 27th), this year featuring contemporary tonalist painters. And of course there are the Early California gems upstairs.
Also in Duncans Mills is the Quercia Gallery, presenting new sculptureal vases by Bobbi Quercia, and a show of quiet and "Seed to Bloom" - subtle paintings by Ron Quercia - just the thing to bring a sense of calm and beauty to our home environments. Its just a short stroll and one easy flight of stairs up from the Christopher Queen Galleries.
The Quicksilver Mine Co. 6671 Front St. (Hwy. 116)
Downtown Forestville PHONE: 707.887.0799
New Work at Quicksilver: Shane Weare April 4—May 11, 2008
Linda Ratzlaff Graton Gallery
9048 Graton Road, Graton, California (707) 829-8912
Current Show: "Beyond Expressions" Soo Noga & Guest Artist Susan Sohl
April 1 - May 11: Reception: Saturday April 5, 2008 ~ 3 to 6 pm

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Links to Current Museum Exhibits Relevant to Early California Art
Permanent gallery of historic art (closed for renovation)
The Art and History of Early California Dec '07 - ongoing
San Francisco
de Young Museum: American Painting Collection
Men, Ships and the Sea: Masterworks of California Painting by Armin Hansen and William Ritschel
Dec 22, '07- Jun 22, '08
The Monterey Cypress: Celebrating an Icon

December 22, 2007 – June 22, 2008
The John H. Marble Gallery of the Art of Central California
Grace Hudson permanent collection
Santa Rosa
Rotating history gallery
Permanent Exhibit: Early California Art
Edwin Deakin: California Painters of the Picturesque
Jan 28 - April 20, 2008
San Diego
Plein Air Past and Present:
A Collaboration between SDMA and the Lux Art Institute
Abundance of Color: California Flowers in Art
through August 23, 2008
Inspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the art of the past
June through September, 2008
Art Students League of Los Angeles 1906-33
Jan 20 - April 13
Palm Springs
Permanent Collection: American Desert Painting