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Now on Exhibit
Joshua Meador Point Arena Lighthouse
Pt. Arena Lighthouse
Joshua Meador
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery Monthly - August 2013
Celebrating California Art,
Wednesdays through Sundays, 11:00 - 4:00
(and by appointment 707-875-2911)
1785 Coast Highway One, Bodega Bay, CA 94923
Now on Exhibit
Linda Sorensen Drakes Bay Overlook
Drakes Bay Overlook
Linda Sorensen, Oils
Maureen St. Gaudens
Maurine St. Gaudens, artist sleuth,
and "The Case of the
Amalgamated Phantom"
The Woman Artist SF CAll 1903
"The Woman Artist", SF Call,
May 3, 1903, with comments
by Bohemian Artist Lorenzo Latimer

Jimmy Swinnerton Desert Magazine 1940
"Jimmy Swinnerton: Nature is
His Teacher"
by John W. Hilton,
Desert Magazine 1941
Gallery News Map
to the Gallery
news from our
neighboring galleries
Sonoma County Gallery Group Events

Maureen St Gaudens
Maureen St. Gaudens
Maurine St. Gaudens, artist sleuth,
and "The Case of the Amalgamated Phantom"
by Daniel Rohlfing

Try "Google"-ing artist Florence Upson Young. You'll find lots of links including at least one for our gallery. For years, we had proudly posted Florence Upson Young as one of our fine California painters. But now, what a shock to learn that Florence Upson Young never was!

Imagine our surprise when I received a call recently from the well known Pasadena art author and curator Maurine St. Gaudens. She shared with us her discovery. "You know," she told me, "your posting for Florence Upson Young? There never was such a person."

After a moment of jaw dropping disbelief, I inhaled to compose myself. Maurine in turn sensed my shock, and calmly explained that she made this discovery while doing research for her new book, "Emerging from the Shadows; A Survey of Women Artists in California, 1860-1960."

Here's the tale, a story we call "The Case of the Amalgamated Phantom." It started with two women born in 1870 and 1872 with similar names: Frances Upson Young and Florence Young. Both were talented Southern California artists, both were active in Laguna Beach, and both had impressive artist biographies.

Frances Upson Young (1870-1950) and Florence Young (1872-1974) probably knew each other, or at least knew of each other. In their time, they may have given a brief thought to the similarity of their names, but there was no confusion and they probably gave little thought to the possibility of any future problems. Why would they?

Frances Young Edge of the Desert
Frances Upson Young, Edge of the Desert
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery Collection
Florence Young Inlet
Florence Young, Inlet
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery Collection
Frances Young Edge of the Desert Signature Florence Young, Inlet Signature
Frances Upson Young often signed her work
F. U. Young, F. Upson Young, or just Young.
Florence Young signed her work F. Young or Florence Young. Almost always, the top line of the “F” extends far to the right over the Young while the tail of the “g” on Young extends to the left under the name; the extended letters almost form a rectangle around the name.

But over time, and especially in our present day computer-driven information age, confusion happened. Their identities were merged creating an amalgamated artist, Florence Upson Young.

Maurine may have discovered one of the root causes! In 1932, the California Arts & Architecture Directory was published with a typographical error. In its listing for Frances Upson Young, a clerk changed her first name to Florence, and unwittingly set in motion the career of Florence Upson Young. Imagine, a newly minted artist, complete with bio and auction record, all from the moment of a mindless and innocent error.

Initially, there was no alarm or call for a correction. No one seemed to notice. But over time, as the directory was used in creating other listings, the amalgamated phantom Florence Upson Young was born. The amalgamated Florence Upson Young boasted a large body of work containing the known works of both Frances Upson Young and Florence Young. Her biography was based mostly upon the biography of Florence Young.

The art world owes a debt of gratitude to Maurine St. Gaudens for calling our attention to this dropped stitch in art history. This may prove a cautionary tale of possible other errors in both the past and present. For curators, art historians, critics, gallery owners and art fans, the real work now begins. We must not only unravel the error, but knit anew the stories of two very distinct California painters. Below, side by side, are the respective biographical sketches.

Frances Upson Young 1870 - 1950 Florence Young 1872 - 1974

Frances Upson was born in Cleveland, January 11, 1870. She studied art at the Cleveland School of art and then at Oxford, England. At age 22, she married Robert Young, an attorney who served as the city attorney for the City of Los Angeles. Frances had two children, Clarence and Frances.

In California, Frances studied with some prestigious painters: Paul Lauritz, Lorenzo Latimer, Anna Hills and Beatrice Whittlesey. She was a member of the Laguna Art Association, the Ruskin Art Club, and West Coast Arts. She exhibited during the 1930's including the Laguna Beach Art Association Spring Prize Exhibition of 1939.

After her husband's retirement, the couple moved to Laguna Beach in the early 1930's where she continued her career as an artist. Her husband died there in 1938.

Florence Young was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in 1872. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Art Student's League in New York. Among her many teachers were William Merritt Chase and Nicolai Fechin.

In 1920, Florence was 48 and caring for her parents while living in Long Beach, California. By 1930, she relocated west to Alhambra, near Pasadena, where an artist colony had grown up on Champion Place (Artist's Alley), home to Sam Hyde Harris, Clyde Forsythe, and the winter home of Norman Rockwell. Florence lived five blocks away on Granada Avenue. Florence painted plein air scenes throughout California, including the Monterey-Carmel area, Yosemite, the California desert, even venturing north to Alaska.

In Who Was Who in American Art by Peter Falk, Florence Young's work is compared to some of the great names in California painting: Edgar Payne, William Wendt, Maurice Braun, Seldon Conner Gile, Percy Gray, the Wachtels, Hanson Puthuff and Sam Hyde Harris.

Frances Upson Young Cypress Cove
Frances Upson Young, Cypress Cove
Bodega Bay Heritage Collection

Florence Young Half Dome Yosemite
Florence Young, Half Dome, Yosemite
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery Collection
Frances Upson Young Cypress Cove Signature Florence Young Half Dome Yosemite Signature

Maurine St. Gaudens is the granddaughter of San Francisco jeweler Maurice Saint Gaudens and the third cousin of American sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens. With backgrounds in philosophy, anthropology and fine art, Maurine has pursued her interest in uncovering and telling the backgrounds of worthy artists whose stories have yet to be told. She is known for including lesser-known artists in exhibitions.

Among her notable exhibitions were "Nature's Palette: Garden Views, Vistas and Fantasies 1880-2005" at the Pasadena Museum of History. She was co-curator of "A Cultural Legacy, Pasadena Society of Artists" at the Pasadena Museum of History. In 1993, she curated "Legacy of the Arroyo Secco" featuring works by Elmer and Marion Wachtel and Jean Mannheim. And recently she curated "Who Was Sam? Sam Hyde Harris 1889-1977" at the Pasadena Museum of History.

For the most part, artists are great at their art, but when it comes to keeping records, they are not so adept. Most artists are not good at "blowing their own horn." Oftentimes, details of particular paintings get lost, and sometimes, and as the years, decades and centuries pass, the artists themselves get lost. Not all exceptionally talented artists are well known. Thanks to Maurine for dedicating her efforts to uncover the stories behind these artists and for her help in setting the record straight.

The working title for Maurine's new book is "Emerging from the Shadows; A Survey of Women Artists in California, 1860-1960." Maurine is being assisted in the project by researcher Joseph Morsman, and Maurine wants Joseph's contributions, time and energy given its full due. The book will include nearly 320 artists, most not well known or totally undiscovered. It includes 2,000 images of artist's work not yet seen or published. All the bios have been researched and rewritten anew, often with previously unpublished information.

Maurine's writing efforts are being documented. A film crew has been present for some of the work, and Maurine and Joseph have had to grow accustomed to working some days with a camera looking over their shoulders. Stay tuned to our newsletter. We'll announce when the book becomes available, and with some luck, we will either post the documentary film or tell you when and where it can be seen.

Back to the Top

"The Woman Artist", SF Call, May 3, 1903,
with comments by Bohemian artist Lorenzo Latimer
The entire article page as it appeared
in the May 3, 1903 edition of the San Francisco Call
Why Women Should Stay at Home

On May 3, 1903, the SF Call published this Sunday article called "The Woman Artist." It features visits to the studios of some of San Francisco's best women painters, including photographs of six of them.

As an addendum, Lorenzo Latimer added a brief article entitled "Why California Artists Should Stay at Home." Latimer believed women artists were as talented and worthy as men. He championed and promoted women artists through his activities as a board member of the SF Art Association, as a member of the Bohemian Club, and as an art teacher.

Why California Artists Should Stay at Home
BY L.P. LATIMER (1857-1941)
Of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Art Association.

The women artists of San Francisco have already accomplished much and they are going to accomplish much more in the years that lie before them. There is every prospect of big things being done by our women who have chosen the lot of the sculptress and the painter.

California is young, its art is young, and its woman's art is youngest of all. But already it has showed a splendid promise. Some of our women have established their position and made it plain that they are working honestly and to a purpose.

Mrs Curtis
Mrs. Curtis (Clara Emma Sprague) 1858-1906 ...
Was head of the SF Art Student's League in 1906.

One is Mrs. Bender. She handles roses and grapes as no one else does. She makes them her own; she stamps her work with her own individuality. Miss Evelyn McCormick is another. She knows Monterey all through, and she handles her scenes there in her own way. Mrs. Whelan, Mrs. Chittenden, Mrs. Clara Curtis, Miss Froelich and Mrs. Richardson are all to be named as women who have worked long enough to prove that their work is worth while. Some of the younger ones I am watching with the greatest interest. Miss Annie Briggs, Miss Rixford, Miss Boyle, Miss Ackerman and Miss Vesaris are all doing work that indicates a bright future. Miss Rixford has produced some striking pictures, and her style is very much her own.

Some of these talented women have had the good fortune to be poor. Nothing brings out ability like the need to exercise it. Their struggles have been hard, but they owe much of their accomplishment to their so-called misfortunes.

One warning that is needed by all young artists applies particularly to women, who are more imitative, more easily influenced than men. They must avoid following the style of any master. This is the day of all days when individuality tells. Only when the artist paints honestly, seeing his subjects through no eyes but his own, shall he paint with authority. In studying the paintings of the great masters, learn from them your own faults, but beware of the danger of falling into their manners. Imitation is often unconscious, but none the less ruinous to personality. Be yourself, paint in your own way.

To the Californian I say, stay here. Go abroad to study if you can and will, but return to your birthplace to do your life work. You can never feel any other inspiration like that of home. If the redwoods or the beach or the plains are yours by right of birth, go back to them and you will paint with a deeper feeling than in any other spot.

Paint what you see: paint it as you see it; and remember always, whoever you are, that you have more to learn.
Time was when the studios of our city were inhabited by men. They were the “art circle,” that mysterious circle of whom the uninitiated heard and whom they dimly associated with all that was fascinating and esthetic. But little by little women began to creep into the charmed “circle,” and now our women artists occupy many of the most interesting and widely sought studios in town.

Over in the Latin quarter is where you will find some of them. They have taken possession of some of the old attics that have by long years of tradition been given over to the makers of pictures. Clay Street and Sacramento and Montgomery and all the district that was once San Francisco's center is full of art treasures that you would never suspect the presence of if you merely glanced up at the dingy outside of the buildings. They are gray and gloomy enough from without. But within these, clever – in some cases more than clever – women are working away with palette, easel and canvas, working toward the goal of fame that they have chosen.

Mrs O'Ryan and Mss Briggs
-Miss Briggs (Annie Frances Lane Briggs)
1867-1945, studied with William Keith and in London, Paris, and Holland.
-Miss O'Ryan (Lillie) 1865- ?, known for miniature portraits and sculptures. Studied with William Merritt Chase and George DeForest Brush. Attended Cooper Union and came to San Francisco with artist Annie Briggs.
Mrs OBrians Chocolates
-Miss O'Brien (Gertrude) late 19th early 20th century ... pictured here in her studio serving tea and chocolates, studied at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute, exhibited California State Fair 1899, California Society of Artists 1902.

Perhaps the most outre and picturesque of all these studios is the one where Mrs. Gertrude O'Brien serves tea to the wayfarer and shows him some gems of her portrait work. It is perched high among the roofs of Clay Street, in the top of a ramshackle building. Going up the first flight of stairs you think you must have made a mistake – that surely nothing of the beautiful is to be found in this place. But if you know the ways of the true artists you are hopeful. You have learned that nothing pleases the genuine painter so well as this sort of an aerie.

At the bottom of the second narrow flight you are stopped by a quaintly wrought iron gate. A bell beside it announces your coming and Mrs. O'Brien descends to admit you.

Along the walls of this second narrow stairway hang rare tapa cloths, for the owner of the studio has lived in those wonderful parts of the world where tapa cloths and odd carvings come from. Her studio is a wealth of teak wood and odd china, oriental embroideries and rugs. Either tea or chocolate will be served to you from precious old Canton which she has spent many years in collecting. A dim light shines down from the sky window, to which a tiny flight of stairs ascend and beneath which is a dainty window garden. Deep couches and cushions welcome you. The reserved cat eyes study you critically from behind some piece of ebony, whither he has retreated upon your arrival. He is not a cordial host, but Mrs. O'Brien herself will make up for his reserve.

She is the wife of a newspaper man who is known here and in Honolulu. Lately he has been sojourning in China, leaving her to art for a short time. As a rule, they enjoy art together. They have traveled so much that they have been

enabled to pick up many curios. Mrs. O'Brien has been devoting herself to painting very diligently during the absence of her husband. Her portrait studies have thrived under her busy brush.

Mrs Froelich at her easelMiss Froelich (Maren) 1868-1921 ... studied with William Keith, Emil Carlsen, Amedee Joulin and Arthur Mathews. Also studied in Paris at Academie Castelluccio. She taught at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute and was active in the Carmel Art Colony

A Sacramento Street building is the headquarters of some of the hardest workers among our women artists. Miss Maren Froelich occupies one sunny room along with her famous company of ballet girls—or as many of them as the public will leave with her. The gay throng has been scattering of late, having gone to new homes all the way from here to New York. They are too popular to remain at home. But there are other froufrouned and bewitching maidens to take their places on the walls of the little studio and on the easel.

A near neighbor of Miss Froelich is Gertrude Boyle, the young sculptress who did the well known busts of John Swett, Le Conte, Jack London and John Muir. Muir posed for her while she was in the country.

Mrs Benders Grapes
Mrs. Bender (Sarah E.) 1852-1935 ... one of the first students of the School of Design in 1874. Her studio at 509 Sacramento was destroyed in the 1906 quake and fire. Her specialty was still life.

She says that he had little time for such affairs and she had to catch him on the fly, but she certainly caught the likeness permanently.

On the lower floor Mrs. Sarah Bender is to be found in the midst of her fruits and flowers. Her studio is a veritable garden. In the grape season you will find long trailing branches of the fruit-laden vines fastened in all sorts of places about the walls – the models from which Mrs. Bender works.

Mrs Rixfords Studio
Miss Rixford (Caroline) 1873-1961 ... studied at the Mark Hopkins Institute with Arthur Mathews and in Paris at Academie Julian with James Whistler.

Roses are scattered everywhere. There is a time of the year when she seeks the vineyards and works outdoors among the vines. She says she lives in an atmosphere of grapes for those two golden weeks. The rest of the time she must buy them in our markets and take them to her upstairs studio.

The popular building at 424 Pine Street has long been a headquarters for the tribe of artists, and Miss Annie Briggs and Mrs. O'Ryan, the miniature painter, have held a studio there together. Miss Briggs' landscapes adorn the walls.

Mrs Kallisher
Miss Kalisher (Emilia) 1868-1959 ... a student at the School of Design. She continued her studies in Holland and in Paris for three years.

There is a cozy corner where they hang above a couch. The charm of the place is enough to inspire anybody to happy work. Miss Briggs is now working in the country and has given up her city nook for a time.

Miss Kalisher is farther up the hall. She is doing some daring portrait work in her little place, where a skylight is the only window. Miss Caroline Rixford has an altogether unique studio. She will lead you from her house back through a green little garden that looks like an exquisite bit of the country plucked and set

down in the midst of our rushing city. At the far end of the garden stands an old building and therein hang the paintings that are her dearest work. “But the garden is my favorite studio, after all,” she says. Mrs. Clara Curtis lives in one of those northwestern homes that have a big sweep of bay view, and she has taken possession of the highest corn of all, an attic where fascinating little windows peep saucily in unexpected places at the bay and the hills beyond; Mrs. Curtis could hardly help painting pictures in such a place.

Miss Evelyn McCormick makes all outdoors her studio and she works under the most rigorous self-discipline. She is so stern with herself that she permits her brush only half an hour's work in a given light. She is not to be caught napping while lights change. The most subtle changes are important to her. They are a happy lot, these busy, ambitious women. And perhaps those very adjectives account for the fact.

Among those women artists mentioned but not pictured in the article above ...

Miss Ackerman (Olga Mandelbaum Ackerman 1865-1913)
studied at the SF School of Design under Virgil Williams. She is known for her portraits and her plaster bas reliefs.

Mrs. Boyle (Gertrude Farquharson Kanno Boyle 1876-1937
) studied at the Mark Hopkins Institute. She had a studio across the hall from William Keith's studio. She, like Keith, lost much of her work in the fire following the 1906 earthquake. She was married to Japanese poet Takeshi Kanno, an interracial marriage gaining her a lot of unwelcomed attention. She is best remembered for her bronze bust of Rodin. She also was commissioned to do busts of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Albert Einstein.

Alice Chittenden (Alice Brown Chittenden 1859-1944) studied at the SF School of Design. During her career, she traveled to New York, France and Italy to exhibit and study. She is best known for her floral paintings, but did some portraits and landscapes. Her high auction record was $37,500 for a still life of chrysanthemums.

Mrs. McCormick (M. Evelyn McCormick 1869-1948) studied at the SF School of Design and also traveled to Giverney to study impressionism with Guy Rose. At the opening of the Del Monte Gallery in Monterey in 1907, her work was compared with Childe Hassam and Claude Monet. She is known for her impressionist paintings of now historic buildings in Monterey. Her studio was located on the second floor of the Custom House in Monterey.

Mrs. Richardson (Mary Curtis Richardson 1848-1931)
Studied at Cooper Union in New York. Came to be called the Mary Cassatt of the West. She attended the SF School of Design. She is known for her portrait paintings.

The four artists below are from the Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery collection and were students of Lorenzo Latimer, as was Frances Upson Young, noted in the article above.
Grace Allison Griffith Photo

Charlotte E Morgan Carmel Coast Point Lobos

Elizabeth Hoen Sonoma Valley Midsized Thumbnail

Bertha Luce Emory Ackerman Creek Ukiah 1919 midsized thumbnail
Elizabeth Hoen 1868-1955 Bertha Luce Emory 1873-1957
Grace Allison Griffith 1885-1955 Charlotte E. Morgan 1867-1947 Back to the Top

Jimmy Swinnerton: "Nature is His Teacher " by John W. Hilton, Desert Magazine, July 1941
Desert Magazine Cover July 1940
John W. Hilton wrote this article seventy-two years ago when he was just beginning his own remarkable career as a painter and desert enthusiast.

One of the ways he expressed his enthusiasm was writing for "Desert Magazine." In this article from July of 1941, the thirty-seven year old Hilton interviews the sixty-six year old James Swinnerton. He begins by asking Jimmy how he came to create his comic characters, the "Canyon Kiddies." Later on, he asks Swinnerton a broader question, "What is art?" -- Daniel Rohlfing

Jimmy Swinnerton came to the desert to die in peace -- and found so much beauty to paint that he crossed up the doctors and got well. Today he is as well known for his oil landscapes as for his "Canyon Kiddies" and comic strips. "Nature is the only real teacher of art," he says. "And this applies to the art of living as well as painting. No one can become bigoted and narrow in the midst of broad desert vistas and great canyon walls." Here is the story of one of the best known artists in America.

Jimmy Swinnerton was seated at his easel in his Hollywood studio. Before him was a partly finished painting of a huge black cliff in southern Utah, which even in its uncompleted state seemed to breath the very atmosphere of the desert. Around the walls were fine examples of Indian craftsmanship, and on the floors were geometrically designed Navajo rugs. As he talked on I completely forgot that I was in the heart of a thriving metropolis. The desert seemed to invade the room, and the far places Jimmy loved to paint, and the many Indian friends he had in the Southwest seemed to come to life where he mentioned them.

On his drawing board was a layout for one of his famous Canyon Kiddies cartoons. "Its funny," Jimmy said, "how I came to draw the 'Canyon Kids.' I always liked Indians, especially the kids, and I never had any trouble getting along with them. After all, a broad smile and a little patience and understanding is all it takes to make them like you."

Jimmy Swinnerton Story Desert Magazine John W Hilton
Swinnerton at work in his studio on one of his "Canyon Kiddie" cartoons

"You know," he went on, "Indians are extremely art-conscious. You can see it in everything they make and do. Every little household utensil has its own good proportion or decoration, and art has an important place in their religion. Why, they even use art, in the form of sand drawings, to cure the sick. Some of our modern hospitals with glaring white walls would do well to study the psychological effect of color and design on sick persons. Maybe the Indians have something!"

"But getting back to the 'Canyon Kids,' I had been drawing Little Jimmy for Mr. Hearst for a long while when one day I was called upon to help arrange a children's party. I thought for some time about something that would please the youngsters, and finally decided upon a set of place cards showing little Indians performing their everyday tasks and playing with their pets, surrounded by the colorful background of their homes. The longer I worked on these little fellows the more interested I became, and it seemed to me that I really had something in them."

"The next time I saw Mr. Hearst I showed him a set that I had made for myself, and asked him if they had any possibilities. He glanced over them, and put them in his pocket, saying that he might print them as comic post cards or something. I felt a little disappointed, but passed it off as another dud idea. After all, Hearst ought to know. It was some time later that he called me up and asked me about the 'Canyon Kids.' I had forgotten all about them, but not he. He told me that the editors of Good Housekeeping were looking for something in the way of an Indian cartoon in color, accompanied by a poem for children."

"I got back the originals and started on my first layout. I could draw the kids, all right, and the hills and desert and animals, but I had never in all my life written a poem. Well, when I got through, the stuff rhymed, which seemed a miracle in itself. I sent the first batch of cartoons and poems in, and after a few days received a reply from the editor. He thought the drawings were great, 'but didn't I think that the poems smacked a bit of doggerel?' Well, he published them, and asked for more, but the poetry got no better. From time to time I received gentle hints that the stuff I was writing was not exactly considered literature with a capital 'L.' They even found fault with my grammar, but they kept printing it."

Swinnerton Painting Desert Magazine 1940
The Storm in Monument Valley
is one of Swinnerton's outstanding canvases. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Herald

"Then one day I was invited to a dinner with the editor and his associate. They spent an entire afternoon and evening pointing out that their magazine had one of the highest literary standards in the country. Finally the associate editor turned to his chief and remarked, 'Did you know that in the past ten years our magazine has published a higher percent of the really good American poetry than any other publication on the market?' It seemed my cue then to take a bow, so I told them in a few brief words how I appreciated their praise, and how I hardly felt worthy of being classed with the best poets of America, but if that was the way they felt I was very happy indeed. I guess they gave me up after that because my characters still say 'ain't' and 'me neither.'"

Jimmy Swinnerton's love of the west comes natural to him. His grandfather crossed the plains twice in a covered wagon back in the 1850's, and Jimmy himself was born in the pioneer town of Eureka, California in 1875. He received his early schooling in San Francisco, and at the age of 15 took up his life's work in an art school. He met George Innes in the studio of William Keith, and they both gave him considerable encouragement and advice, urging him to go into the fine arts.

Swinnerton painting Desert Magazine July 1940
Swinnerton's painting In Southern Utah
Photograph courtesy of the Los Angeles Herald

But at the age of 16, after a year of art schooling, Jimmy got a job doing political cartoons on the San Francisco Examiner and dropped painting. Keith never spoke to him again.

Here he started Little Jimmy, one of the first four comic strips in America. He moved to New York with the idea, and continued to draw comics and do political and sport cartoons until overwork and city life nearly killed him.

He decided to return to his first love, the west, and settled on the desert to die in peace. But strangely enough he surprised both his friends and doctors by regaining his heath, thanks to the good advice and help of Nellie Coffman, who operated a small sanitarium in the new community of Palm Springs.

The history of Jimmy Swinnerton's fight for health in the desert, and the friendships with such men as Zane Grey and Carl Eytel would fill a very interesting book. He became intensely interested in the desert, and being an artist saw its great potentialities for paintings. As his health returned he did more and more serious work, and eventually began to find himself. Today, even with health no longer a serious consideration in his life, he spends a great part of his time out in the desert he loves, painting the things he likes.

"Mr. Swinnerton," I asked, "I know that this is a tough question, and covers a lot of ground, but how do you feel about art?"

Jimmy lit his pipe, settled back in his chair, and looked up at the ceiling.

"Johnny," he said, "art is a mighty elusive thing. There is entirely too much written and talked about art and not enough about painting and looking. A true artist must distrust what he reads and hears, and believe only the beauty he sees. Painting is an individual effort, and no real artist can follow the pattern of another."

"Nature is the only true teacher. An art school can teach one to observe and to master the ability of drawing and painting, but no mere technical skill is sufficient to bring out the fine things in nature. First an artist must love and humbly study nature, remembering all the while that man with all his skill and scientific knowledge cannot so much as create a blade of grass or a grain of sand. My favorite Bible verse is 'Blessed are the humble in spirit.'"

"The best way to approach nature in a humble mood is to go out into the desert alone. No one can become bigoted or narrow in the midst of broad desert vistas and great canyon walls. The duty of the artist is to experience these things, and then reconstruct his experiences on canvas."

"The painter who works entirely in the studio on abstract nothings conjured up by his own feverish brain has very little to give the world. His paintings may find favor in the eyes of a few other neurotics who have had similar nightmares, and if his stuff follows the mechanical rules of color, balance and composition it may furnish fine material for the writings of sensation-seeking art critics and their pseudo-sophistocated followers. But art that does not find its inspiration in nature has little to recommend itself to future generations, and will be remembered principally as a curiosity."

Swinnerton Cartoon Desert Magazine July 1940
Jimmy Swinnerton's caricature of himself painting,
being observed by Little Jimmy and one of the Canyon Kiddies
Jimmy Swinnerton's Canyon Kiddies Racing
The Canyon Kiddies Racing

"To me, landscape painting is a shortcut to faith. The artist cannot hope to recreate nature. The finest artist in the world cannot paint a perfect flower. The real purpose of a painting is to call attention to the beauty in nature. A successful painting is a sign post reading, 'Yonder is beauty! Go see for yourself.'"

"I prefer painting the desert, because it is not so well posted as other types of landscape. There is no end to the beauty of sand and rocks and sage-brush, but few persons see it when they pass through the desert. All of the serious work I have done has been on the desert, and there is enough there to occupy me the rest of my life."
Photo Jimmy Swinnerton Bodega Bay
Heritage Gallery
Paintings by
Jimmy Swinnerton
John W Hilton Photo Bodega Bay
Heritage Gallery
Paintings by
John W. Hilton
Photo Kathi Hilton Bodega Bay
Heritage Gallery
Paintings by
Kathi Hilton
Back to the Top

* * * * *
News from our Gallery
  • Watercolor fans -- an exceptional event! The Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah is hosting Milford Zornes: A Painter of Influence
    Aug 10 - Oct 13! Circle it on your calendar! On Saturday, Aug 10, curators Maria and Hal Baker, Milford Zornes' daughter and his son-in-law, will give a presentation on the life and art of Mr. Zornes. Refreshments will follow. Free with Museum admission.

  • We just learned of the passing of Western painter Bill Freeman, 1927-2013. Bill was born in North Carolina in 1927, raised in west Texas on a cotton and flower farm outside of El Paso, and during his lifetime was a horse wrangler and did field work for the US Forest Service. At 30 he decided to pursue his love of painting and became a full time artist, specializing in Western landscapes and bronze sculpture. See his page on our site.

  • For our readers in an about New York City ... At the Whitney Museum, Hopper Drawings ... Through October 6
    "Illuminating and thrilling"—The New York Times

    Hopper Drawing is the first major exhibition to survey the drawings and working process of Edward Hopper (1882–1967), pairing many of his iconic oil paintings, including New York Movie (1939) and Nighthawks(1942), with their preparatory studies and related works.

    Hopper’s drawings reveal the continually evolving relationship between observation and invention in the artist’s work, and his abiding interest in motifs— New York’s urban fabric, the movie theater, the bedroom, the road—to which he would return throughout his career.

    Edward Hopper
    Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery Mini Delivery Van
    Dan with our new gallery
    Mini Delivery Van

    A new delivery "van" for our gallery? Often parked outside will be our new MNI Clubman wagon from MINI of San Francisco (talk to Nico Olivero there). It's suitable for those occasions when it is appropriate to deliver a painting to a customer in Sonoma County, the Bay Area, Sacramento or as far as Reno.

  • Gallery Hours are 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Wednesday through Sunday. We are also available for scheduled appointments, especially for those who wish to view the gallery on Mondays or Tuesdays. Please call Dan at the gallery and schedule a visit, or call him on his cellphone, 510-414-9821.
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What's showing in Bodega Bay?
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery Sign Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
1785 Coast Highway One, Bodega Bay,
CA 94923, 707-875-2911 | Map & Location
Celebrating Early California, Western and American Art
- original paintings by famous artists of the past
Now showing ... Harbors, Boats, and Reflections on the Water
plus Bodega Bay resident artists
Jean Warren (watercolors), Diane Perry (photography), and Linda Sorensen (oil paintings)
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery Exterior
Reb Brown Sign Thumbnail

The Ren Brown Collection
Sarah Brayer:
Cloud Garden Paperworks | Back to the Top

Ren Brown Collection

Local Color Gallery

Local Color Artist Gallery
through Aug 11, Horizons, paintings by Pamela Wallace & Linda Gamble
Aug 14 - Sep 8, Mixed Bag, unique photography of Diane Miller

Gallery Hours, daily 10 AM to 5 PM
1580 Eastshore Dr., Bodega Bay
707-875-2744 |
| Back to the Top

J C Henderson Neptune's Ocean
What's showing nearby?
in Sonoma, Napa & Marin Counties
Christopher Queen Gallery

IN DUNCANS MILLS Christopher Queen Galleries
Now Showing ...
2013's Boho Show, "Bon Vivants"
3 miles east of Hwy 1 on Hwy 116 on the Russian River |707-865-1318| Back to the Top

Self Portrait of Xavier Martinez
Bobbi & Ron Quercia

IN DUNCANS MILLS Quercia Gallery
"Our Natures" Sandra Rubin and Alan Johnson, mother and son
Ron Quercia paintings & Bobbi Jeanne Quercia sculpture
through June 24

Hours: 11am-5pm, Thur - Mon (707) 865-0243 | Back to the Top

Quercia Gallery Duncans Mills
Annex Galleries Santa Rosa IN Santa Rosa The Annex Galleries
specializing in 19th, 20th, and 21st century American and European fine prints
now showing ... Stanley William Hayter and the influence of Atelier

The Annex Galleries is a member of the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA). | Back to the Top
Lee Youngman Photo Thumbnail
Lee Youngman

IN CALISTOGA the Lee Youngman Gallery
Featuring the work of contemporary painter Paul Youngman,
and the works of famed painter, Ralph Love (1907-1992) | Back to the Top
Left ... Lee Youngman, Right ... Paul Yougman

Paul Youngman

Jeanette Legrue and her painting Lillies Thumbnail

IN TOMALES Tomales Fine Art
Host artist Janette LeGrue
Featuring local and national, award-winning artists:
Anne Blair Brown, Christin Coy, Timothy Horn, Debra Huse, Jeanette Le Grue,
John Poon, Randall Sexton, Brian Mark Taylor, and Antoinette Walker. /  
Open most weekends 12-5pm, and by appointment (707) 878-2525 | Back to the Top

Tomales Fine Art Gallery
Linda Ratzlaff

IN GRATON Graton Gallery

"Summer Songs" featuring Mylette Welch & Maria Esther Sund
Graton Gallery | (707) 829-8912  |
9048 Graton Road, Graton CA 95444 | Open Wednesday ~ Saturday 10:30 to 6, Sunday 10:30 to 4

Bodega Landmark Gallery Thumb IN BODEGA Bodega Landmark Gallery Collection
17255 Bodega Highway Bodega, California USA 94922 Phone 707 876 3477 | | Back to the Top
BBHPhoto Dennis Calabi
IN PETALUMA Calabi Gallery
Sebastopol's own famed master conservator Dennis Calabi brings his rare knowledge and experience
to present a tasteful and eclectic array of primarily 20th century artwork.

now showing: "Intimate Enigmas" abstract stone sculpture by Easton, through July 7

144 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, CA 94952 Call 707-781-94952 |Back to the Top
Right ... Yellow Eye (Protest) by Robert Pearson McChesney, 1946, Oil on Masonite

Easton Crustacean Dancing Dream 144
Easton, Crustacean Dancing Dream, American Alabaster
Vintage Bank Petaluma Thumbnail IN PETALUMA Vintage Bank Antiques
Vintage Bank Antiques is located in Historic Downtown Petaluma, corner of Western Avenue and Petaluma Blvd. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Warren Davis and the rest of the team at Vintage Bank Antiques has assembled a spectacular inventory of paintings. From the 18th Century to Contemporary Artists. We have paintings to suit every price point and collector level.
If you have a painting for sale, please consider Vintage Bank Antiques. Contact Warren Davis directly at
101 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, CA 94952, ph: 707.769.3097 | Back to the Top
Petaluma Arts Council Art Center IN PETALUMA Petaluma Arts Council
"... to celebrate local artists and their contributions and involve the whole community
coming exhibition ... opening July 12, "Uncovered Genius" The creative lives of Artists with disabilities

Petaluma Art Center
Photo:Anita Diamondstein
* * * * *
Links to current museum exhibits relevant to Early California Art
The Greater Bay Area

The Walt Disney Family Museum
This museum tells Walt's story from the early days.
(on the Parade Grounds) 104 Montgomery Street,
The Presidio of San Francisco, CA 94129
-- view location on Google Maps

Disney Museum Exterior Thumbnail San Francisco
de Young Museum
Richard Diebenkorn, The Berkeley Years 1953-1996
through Sept 29

De Young Museum Thumbnail
San Francisco
California Historical Society

Curating the Bay
Apr 7 - Aug 25

California Historical Society Thumbnail

San Francisco
Legion of Honor

Permanent European and Impressionist Paintings

"Impressionists on the Water"
through Oct 13

San Francisco Legion of Honor Museum
San Francisco
Contemporary Jewish Museum
Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg
through Sept 8

San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum Thumbnail

Oakland Museum of California

ongoing Gallery of California Art
-showcasing over 800 works from the OMCA's collection
Inspirationo Points: Masterpieces of California Landscape
through Aug 11

Oakland Museum Thumbnail

San Francisco

Currently closed for a major expansion

Santa Rosa
Sonoma County Museum
-Margins to Mainstream: Contemporary Artists with Disabiilities, Jun 15 through Sep 15

Sonoma County Museum Thumbnail

Santa Rosa
Charles M. Schultz Museum

"Mid Century Modern" through Oct 27

Charles M Schultz Museum Santa Rosa

Hearst Art Gallery
Afterglow: Rethinking California Light and Space Art

In Studio Gallery through Sep 22
Points of View: Mary Lou Correia and Paul Kratter

Hearst Art Gallery Thumbnail
Mission San Francisco de Solano Museum

featuring the famed watercolor paintings
of the California Missions
by Christian Jorgensen

Mission San Francisco de Solano in Sonoma CA

Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

551 Broadway, Sonoma CA 95476 (707) 939-7862

Akin: The Art of Nicole and Marc Katano and Stand by Me: The Sprit of Mentoring in Sonoma
through Aug 25

Sonoma Museum of Art Exterior Thumb
Grace Hudson Museum

Milford Zornes: A Painter of Influence

Aug 10 - Oct 13, Reception and Lecture Sat Aug 10, 2pm

Grace Hudson Museum Bolinas
Bolinas Museum

featuring their permanent collection,
including Ludmilla and Thadeus Welch, Arthur William Best, Jack Wisby, Russell Chatham, Alfred Farnsworth.
Elizabeth Holland McDaniel Bolinas Embarcadero thumbnail

Walnut Creek
Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts

Larger than Life, Exploring Scale in Contemporary Art
Jun 2 - Aug 18

Lesher Ctr for the Arts Walnut Creek CA

San Jose
San Jose Museum of Art

approximately 2,000 20th & 21st century artworks including paintings, sculpture, new media, photography, drawings, prints, and artist books.

San Jose Museum of Art Thumbnail

Monterey Museum of Art

Return to the Sea, Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto
Jun 13 - Aug 25

Monterey Museum of Art

Palo Alto
Cantor Art Center at Stanford University

Rodin! The Complete Stanford Collection

Cantor Art Center at Stanford University
Crocker Art Museum
Permenant Collection Sacramento
Capitol Museum

Governor's Portrait Gallery
Permanent Exhibits

Capitol Museum Sacramento Thumbnail
Stockton's Treasure!
The Haggin Museum

"if you've not visited yet, you must go!"
-Largest exhibition of Albert Beirstadt paintings anywhere,
-Joseph Christian Leyendecker,
(Norman Rockwell's mentor)
see our Newsletter article, April 2011
Southern California (and Arizona)

Los Angeles
Los Angeles Museum of Art

Art of the Americas, Level 3:
Artworks of paintings and sculptures from the colonial period to World War II— a survey of of art and culture
& "Levitated Mass"

Los Angeles County Museum of Art Irvine
The Irvine Museum
Mastering the Medium, Works on Paper
Jun 19 - Sep 19
Irvine Museum Thumbnail

Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara
Museum of Art

Van Gogh to Munch: ongoing
Scenery, Story, Spirit: ongoing
California Dreaming, through Jun 16
Labour and Wait
Opens Jul 2

Santa Barbara Museum of Art Thumbnail

Palm Springs
Palm Springs Art Museum

Permanent Collection
American 19th century Landscape Painting

Palm Springs Art Museum Thumbnail
San Diego
San Diego Museum of Art
Permanent Collection
San Diego Museum of Art Thumbnail

The Huntington Library

American Art Collection

Paintings by John Singer Sargent,
Edward Hopper, Robert Henri, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, William Keith, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Hart Benton and many more.

Huntington Library Art Collection Pasadena

Norton Simon Museum

-Permanent collection, European paintings

Norton Simon Museum Pasadena Pasadena
Museum of California Art

Sam Francis:
Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism
from California Collections
Aug 11 - Jan 5

Pasadena Museum of California Art Exterior thumb
Prescott, AZ
Phippen Museum

Rodeo! A Tribute to Louise Serpa

James Gallery
June 22 through September 22, 2013

Phippen Museum Entrance Hwy 89
& Beyond
Seattle, WA
Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum

Portland, OR
Portland Art Museum

Permanent Collection: American Art

Portland Art Museum Thumbnail

Washington D.C.
The Renwick Gallery

Permanent ... Grand Salon Paintings
from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Renwick Gallery Washington DC Chicago, IL
Art Institute of Chicago
Permanent collection:
the Impressionists
Art Institute of Chicago Thumbnail
Cedar Rapids, IA
The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
Grant Wood: In Focus

is an ongoing permanent collection exhibition.

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Bentonville, AR
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Washington D.C.
The National Gallery

Permanent collection
American Paintings

Tha National Gallery Washington DC Thumbnail

Philadelphia , PA
The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art Thumbnail
Philadelphia , PA
Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia Campus
Barnes Foundation Campus Philadelphia Brooklyn, NY
The Brooklyn Museum
American Art
Permanent Collection
The Brooklyn Museum Thumbnail
New York , NY
The Whitney Museum of American Art

The largest selection of works by Edward Hopper
The Whitney Museum of American Art New York