Born in Braunschweig, Germany on Aug. 16, 1839. Schafer may have studied art in Düsseldorf since his paintings resemble those of other Düsseldorf-trained artists; however, he is believed to have been self-taught. He came to the U.S. in 1876 and arrived in San Francisco in 1880. After establishing a studio, he began exhibiting regularly with the local art association and the Mechanics' Institute Fairs. A peripatetic painter, he made regular sketching trips throughout the Northwest including Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. During his last years he painted theatrical scenery in San Francisco and Oakland theaters. Schafer had a home in Oakland from 1880 until his death on July 18, 1927. His landscapes, which often include Indians, were mostly done before 1890 and number about 500. Due to alcoholism, his works are often uneven in quality. Exh: Mechanics' Inst. (SF), 1879-84; Calif. State Fair, 1880, 1894. In: Oakland Museum; Seattle Museum; Monterey Peninsula Museum; Shasta State Historical Monument; Bancroft Library (UC Berkeley); CHS; Crocker Museum; Hoover Inst. (Palo Alto); Museum of Church History & Art (Salt Lake City); Society of Calif. Pioneers; Sonoma Co. Museum (Santa Rosa); Yosemite Museum; Alameda Public Library; Craigdarroch Castle (Victoria, B.C.) Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
A landscape painter and printmaker, he was born in San Francisco, California on July 29, 1884. Todhunter was a pupil of John Stanton and Arthur Mathews at the Mark Hopkins Institute, and Gottardo Piazzoni and Frank Van Sloun at the California School of Fine Arts, followed by study at the Art Students League in New York City. He began his career as an illustrator for Overland Monthly and later worked for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Call, and Washington (DC) Times. He worked in New York as a commercial artist until 1912, when he returned to San Francisco to become art director for the H. K. McCann Company, a job he was to keep until his retirement in 1949. Todhunter's work includes etchings, lithographs, and landscapes of Marin County and the San Francisco Bay area. He died in his native city on February 11, 1963. Member: Bohemian Club; SWA; AAPL; Marin Society of Artists; SFAA; Calif. Society of Etchers. Exh: Bohemian Club, 1922-63; SFAA from 1922; OGlE, 1939; Society for Sanity in Art, 1940s.
HUNT, Esther Anna (1875-1951). Painter, sculptor. Born in Grand Island, Nebraska on August 30, 1875. Esther Hunt moved to San Diego in 1881 and she grew up on a ranch there. From 1896-1900 she worked as an artist in Los Angeles. Upon moving to San Francisco, she studied art at the Mark Hopkins Institute (1901). As a means to finance her art studies, she began painting Chinatown subjects which she sent to a New York dealer who readily sold them. After studying portraiture with William M. Chase in New York City from 1905-06, she continued her studies for six years in Paris. While in Paris her portrait of her sister was hung in the Paris Salon. Returning to California, she had a studio in Los Angeles for four years and from 1918-27 she lived in San Francisco; during 1927-31 she lived in Greenwich Village in New York City. The years 1932-46 were again spent in San Francisco. Her oils, watercolors, etchings, and colored ceramic figurines were very popular with the general public during her productive years, having been reproduced commercially for postcards, calendars, prints, busts, etc. Hunt was very fond of the artistically-created and individually-named "children" she would never have in real life. After a stroke ended her career, she was taken to the Santa Ana (CA) Rest Home. A spinster, she died there on March 4, 1951. Member: Laguna Beach Art Ass'n. Exhibited: Panama California Expo (San Diego), 1915 (gold medal); San Francisco Art Ass'n, 1916. Works held: California Historical Society.
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BiographyMaurice Braun (1877-1941). Painter. Maurice Braun was born in Nagy Bittse, Hungary on Oct. 1, 1877. Braun immigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1881 and settled in NYC. He began drawing at age three and in his early teens was apprenticed to a jeweler. In 1897 Maurice Braun began a five year study period at the NAD followed by one year with Wm M. Chase. He was an established portrait and figure painter in New York before moving to San Diego in 1910. After opening a studio on Point Loma, Maurice Braun founded the San Diego Academy of Art in 1912 and served as its director for many years. Braun remained in San Diego except for the years 1922-24 when he maintained a studio in Silvermine, CT. His Impressionist paintings of the Southwest desert, southern California hills, and High Sierra brought him great national acclaim. At the end of his career he specialized in still lifes of flowers and oriental objets d'art. An ardent follower of Theosophy, their teachings of the unity of nature and man is evident in his work. Maurice Braun died in San Diego on Nov. 7, 1941. Source: Edan Hughes:
Biography, Carl Oscar Borg, N.A. (American, Born Sweden 1879-1947) Carl Oscar Borg was considered "a major American artist," though he was born in Grinstad, Sweden on March 3, 1879. Borg worked as a seaman and studied art in London before emigrating to New York City in 1902. He moved to California in 1903 and through the patronage of Mrs. Phoebe Hearst, was able to return to Europe for further study in Paris and Rome. Upon his return he taught at the California Art Institute in Los Angeles, and from 1918 to 1924 lived in Santa Barbara where he taught at the School of Arts. The interval years 1924 to 1935 were spent traveling to San Francisco, Los Angeles and the Grand Canyon. The subjects of his paintings included Hopi and Navajo Indians, cowboys, historical scenes, and California landscapes, seascapes and missions. He made three trips to Sweden in the 1930s, and when war broke out in Europe he was forced to remain there for the duration of the war. While in Sweden he had considerable fame and financial success in selling his paintings of Indians and desert scenes to art collectors. After World War II ended, he returned to Santa Barbara where he died on May 8, 1947. Awards: gold medal, St. Louis Exposition, 1904; first prize, Los Angeles Painters Club, 1909; silver medal, Versailles, 1914; first prize, California Art Club, 1915; silver medal, PPIE, 1915; gold and silver medals, Panama-California Exposition, San Diego, 1915; silver medal, Societe des Artistes Francais, 1920; silver medal, Pacific Southwest Exposition, 1928; and others. Major collectors: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey; California State Library; Seattle Art Museum; Library of Congress; de Young Museum; Lowie Museum, University of California, Berkeley; Mills College, Oakland; Oakland Museum; Los Angeles Public Library; Santa Barbara Museum; National Museum of American Art; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; Gothenburg Ethological Museum, Sweden; Phoenix Museum
Known for small scale, modernist urban views of New York City, he depicted the city as a jumble of architecture in varying sombre colors in a mood reminiscent of 19th century Romanticism. He had a highly original technique, which was covering a drawing with small dabs of paint and pushing spots of warm and cool color over one another, which dried into a kind of low relief. It took him about a decade, from 1929 to 1939, to arrive at this style and method that seemed right for him. He decided to paint what he saw without consciousness as to style or composition and with spiritual commitment, devoting himself to divinity in nature, separated from the modern world. By the 1960s, he was doing horizontal work in brighter hues that gave the viewer the impression of being swept along a street or urban path.