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"
Born in Rockford, Illinois on Jan. 1, 1868, Hobart moved to California with his family when he was a small boy. He studied art in San Francisco at the School of Design under Stanton and Cadenasso, and privately with William Keith. He then spent three years at the ASL in NYC under Blum and Bridgman and completed his art training in Paris. The turning point in his career came in 1915 at the PPIE. During the exposition Hobart was awarded a silver medal and received praise from local art critics for his development of color monotype prints. When the Oakland Civic Art Gallery opened in 1916, an entire room was devoted to his monotypes. In that year Hobart left the Monterey Peninsula and established a studio in San Francisco. From his studio came portraits of Carl Oscar Borg, Mrs. Leo Lentelli, and Gottardo Piazzoni. Often compared to Cézanne, he is nationally known for his Impressionist portraits and landscapes. Exhibitions: California Society of Etchers; Del Monte Gallery (Monterey), 1912-13; California Artists, Golden Gate Park Museum, 1915; Panama-Calif. Exposition (San Diego), 1915; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1915, 1918; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1915; Kennedy Gallery (NYC), 1916; NY Architectural League, 1916; National Academy of Design, 1916; Calif. Liberty Fair, 1918 (1st prize); San Francisco Art Association, 1918 (prize), 1921 (1st prize), 1922 (gold medal); Western Ass'n of Art Museum Directors, 1922; Bohemian Club, 1922, 1923 (solo), 1929; Golden Gate International Exhibition, 1939; Oakland Museum, 1981. Work in Permanent Collections: San Francisco Museum of Art; CHS; Bohemian Club; De Young Museum; Mills College (Oakland); Oakland Museum; Salinas High School; Nevada Museum (Reno); Monterey Peninsula Museum.
Born in Denver, CO on Aug. 7, 1897, Curtis was a resident of Seattle before moving to Los Angeles in 1914. He was inspired to become an artist by his teacher Rob Wagner at Manual Arts High School. After working as a bank teller and serving in WWI, he soon was able to support himself as an illustrator. He served as official artist of the U.S. Antarctica Expedition in 1939-40 and again in 1957. About 1960 he changed his residence from Los Angeles to Twenty Nine Palms, California, with summers in Moose, Wyoming. An avid mountain climber, his studio in the Grand Tetons was a rustic log cabin. In 1972 he moved to Carson City, Nevada, where he remained until his demise on March 17, 1989. He is best known for his landscapes of the High Sierra, Grand Tetons, and Antarctica. His works won dozens of medals and prizes from the early 1920s in southern California shows. Member: Carmel Art Association; Artland Club. Exh: California Art Club, 1923-27; Laguna Beach Art Association, 1924; California State Fair, 1926; Cannell & Chaffin Gallery (Los Angeles), 1926; Ebell Club (Los Angeles), 1926; Painters & Sculptors of Los Angeles, 1926-31; National Academy of Design, 1930; Toledo Museum, 1931; American Painters & Sculptors, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1931, 1937 (solo), 1946 (solo); Oakland Art Gallery, 1932; Tuesday Afternoon Club (Glendale), 1934; Golden Gate International Exhibition, 1939; California Palace Legion of
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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:
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.
Landscape painter. Born in Norway on June 1, 1856. Jonnevold came to the U.S. in the 1880s and is known to have painted in the Northwest before moving to California in 1887. Settling in San Francisco, he maintained a studio at 1617 California Street. He was a self-taught painter except for brief study in the galleries of Paris in 1908. While in France, he was influenced by the Barbizon painters and their dark palette. Returning to California, he continued to paint the beauty of northern California in the Barbizon style. Often working in late afternoon when shadow prevails, he produced hundreds of attractive tree and meadow scenes which he exhibited in local galleries. By the time of the stock market crash in 1929, Jonnevold was poverty stricken and living alone at his small studio at 560 Kearny Street. In that year he was sentenced to two months in jail for aiming a gun at his landlord. Jonnevold disappeared from San Francisco about 1930. A letter at the Oakland Museum gives his date of death as June 9, 1955 but no location. His works have gained renewed respect in recent years and are highly sought after by collectors. Exhibitions: Calif. State Fair, 1899-1902 (awards); Mechanics' Inst. (SF), 1897; SFAA, 1908-12; Alaska-Yukon Expo (Seattle), 1909 (bronze medal); Kanst Gallery (LA), 1915. In: Oakland Museum; CHS; De Young Museum. Source: Edan Hughes,
Selden Connor Gile was an important member of the early northern California school of art, he was a founding member of the artist group that called themselves the Society of Six. He was born in Stow, Maine on March 20, 1877, and after attending business college in Maine, Gile moved to California in 1901. He was a payroll master in Lincoln and in Oakland after 1905 for Gladding McBean Company. His art studies were under Perham Nahl, Frank Van Sloun, Spencer Macky, William H. Clapp, and at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Prior to 1914, he painted in the manner of classical California landscape painters such as William Keith. After that time he assumed the palette and style of Impressionism-Fauvism, but remained an "individualist" in his mode of expressing the California scene. During the 1920s, he became the dominant figure in a group of painters known as the Society of Six. The Six were active in the San Francisco Bay area and exhibited regularly at the Oakland Art Gallery. In 1927 Gile moved across the Golden Gate to Tiburon and, shortly thereafter, to a houseboat in Belvedere. He died in San Rafael, California on June 8, 1947.
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.