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BBH Gallery Monthly July 2007
News, Articles, and Opinions
from the world of California’s Heritage Art

Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
1580 Eastshore Road, Suite K, PO Box 325
Bodega Bay, CA 94923, 707-875-2911


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Dear Friends of Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery,

Our New Gallery Opens Friday, June 29th

After months of searching, an opportunity opened for us in the Blue Whale Building, 1580 Eastshore Road in Bodega Bay. We're in the back, Suite K, below the Seaweed Cafe, and as of this writing, we're busy making preparations. Like O. Henry quipped in one of his New York short stories, the place is currently "ruined by improvements," and suitable photos are yet not yet available. But soon, the floor will be laid, painting will be done, rugs will go down, lights will go up, and art will finally find its way onto the walls where it can be appreciated and enjoyed. Next issue, pictures of our grand opening, Fourth of July weekend, will be posted.

We will be open all of Fourth of July weekend, beginning at noon on Friday, June 29th, and will be open noon until 8:00 PM through Wednesday, July Fourth. Afterward, we will be open noon until 8:00 PM Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and other times by appointment.

Refreshments will be served. Bring your love of art, and stay a while. We're looking forward to your visit.

Schedule of Gallery Shows
July 2007

"Seascapes and Landscapes of the Northern Coast"
Hugo Anton Fisher 1854 - 1916 and Robert Clifford Rishell 1917 - 1976

"Sonoma County's Own"
including Grace Allison Griffith 1885 - 1955,
Napoleon Primo Vallejo 1850 - 1923, and others
"Sheep May Safely Graze"
farms and farm animals by famous Early California painters
Joshua Meador 1911 - 1965
more works by this preeminent Disney artist
"The Shimmering Visions"
of Dedrick Brandes Stuber 1878 - 1954
and Richard Dey DeRibcowsky 1880 - 1936
"Small Gems"
magnificent antique still lifes and small landscapes to be treasured
January 2008
WPA / California Style Watercolors
Visit soon and often, and plan to view our special exhibitions.

* * * * *
July Painting of the Month
Hugo Anton Fisher 1854 - 1916

Hugo Anton Fisher Woman Fishing at Pasture Pond

Woman Fishing at Pasture Pond
Oil on canvas, 16 x 24

Our gallery's opening show is entitled, "Seascapes and Landscapes of the Northern Coast," and all our works by Hugo Anton Fisher will be on exhibit.

"Cows, in Berkeley?" Yes, there were, although there are very few folks around who remember those days. Thanks to Hugo Anton Fisher, those scenes are preserved. He painted them, and not only in Berkeley, but in Alameda, Marin, and other locales around the Bay Area and Northern California.

Long before Alameda became filled with townhomes, condos, and golf courses, and long before the U.S. Navy called Alameda its home, Hugo Anton Fisher lived there while maintaining a San Francisco studio. Often, he painted Alameda's scenery, mostly marshy farm-related watercolors, and often with dairy cattle. The painting above appears to be exactly such a scene. It shows substantial influences of the Barbizon painters of France, and is one of the best paintings by this artist we have seen, as well as an excellent example of the period generally.

Hugo Anton Fisher came to America from Kladno, Czechoslovakia at age 20. After ten years spent mostly in New York, he came to Alameda in 1886 with his wife, Addie Pond (could that be her in the painting?). His two sons also became notable artists, Hugo Melville Fisher and Harrison Fisher. Hugo Anton Fisher was popular among the public and liked by art critics on both coasts. Hugo enjoyed his life in the Bay Area in the "before any bridges" era, taking the ferry from Alameda to the City and back again, often sketching the scenery as he went. Unfortunately, like William Keith and other artists during the '06 quake, he lost many of his paintings.

In 1896, Hugo Anton Fisher opened a studio in Honolulu. A local Hawaiian magazine published one of his paintings entitled "Manoa Valley" in that same year, and another of his Hawaiian paintings, an impressive 30 x 48 1/2 canvas entitled "Pali to Kailua View," was recently auctioned by Bonham and Butterfields for nearly $40,000.

* * * * *
Footprints in Lava?

Footprints? For obvious reasons, that's one thing you don't see on the Big Island at Volcano National Park, but in a way, Linda and I found just that.

The painting below is by John W. Hilton, a California desert painter who chummed around with the likes of Jimmy Swinnerton, Maynard Dixon, and Clyde Forsythe. John was a desert dweller to the core, and knew the desert's rocks, plants, and animals better than most. His geological knowledge and skill lead him to assist General George Patton to find suitable lands for training tank commanders and to mine calcite during World War II for the war department. And when Kilauea erupted in 1967, John Hilton (the geologist) was off to Hawaii, where he lived part time, for the geological show of a lifetime.

John W Hilton Nascent Lava 1968
John W. Hilton 1904 - 1983
"Nascent Lava" 1968
Halemaumau Crater, Kilauea
Volcano National Park
Oil on board, 20 x 34

Halemaumau is the crater within Kilauea. Previously between 1823 and 1924, it had erupted for a hundred years. Pele's grandeur was recorded by a stream of notable visitors. Mark Twain was there in 1866, quipping, "The smell of sulfur is strong, but not unpleasant to a sinner." Later on around 1900, Bay Area painters arrived, including Jules Tavernier, David Howard Hitchcock, and Harry Cassie Best. But the grand show ended in 1924, when John W. Hilton was only twenty years old, and it appeared John W. Hilton and Pele would never meet.

Previous to our trip, I mistakenly had thought Kilauea had been dormant after 1924, and I surmised John W. Hilton painted Halemaumau Crater as an homage to the painters of the earlier generation who witnessed the show first hand. But on our trip, we learned a new fact, that for 251 days starting in 1967, Halemaumau came to life again, and this time, Hilton was there. So you see, in a sense, we were following in John W. Hilton's footprints in lava, and we learned something new about one of our paintings. Hilton's heart must have soared as the fountains of lava flowed and shot skyward. Fortunately, he recorded for us his awe of Pele at work.