Thursday, February 28, 2013

Abigail "Abbie" Cardozo: An Independent Spirit

Abigail E. Cardozo
Confidence, exceptional fortitude, and "true grit" were vital for a woman to successfully create and maintain a business during the late 1800s in America, especially in the west. By the turn of the century most towns in California, large and small, had at least one photographic studio and competition was intense. While men were expected to have some type of trade or professional occupation, women's entrepreneurial advancement was generally not approved.
Abbie Cardozo exemplifies the character that was needed to prevail at a pre-suffrage period in which husbands had license to control women's lives to a degree that is difficult to understand in our era.

Born in Grizzly Bluff, about three hundred miles north of San Francisco, Cardozo was the sixth of nine children. With so many mouths to feed, in 1878, at fourteen years old, Cardozo was forced into marriage with Oscar L. Chapman, a man who she did not know and was nearly her father's age. She bore a number of children, but only three survived infancy. By 1889, she left her husband, charging him with mental cruelty, but retained custody of their three daughters: Della, Bella, and Stella. Their separation was viewed locally as  "outrageous," but Cardozo was apparently undaunted by the societal criticism. [1]

A single mother with three daughters to support, twenty-five year-old Cardozo found part-time employment in a local photography studio. In 1894, when her divorce became final, she married again to a "charming and fun" local storekeeper who was considered the town "loafer." [2] By 1897, Cardozo entered into a partnership with George Crippen in Ferndale, California, a town that billed itself as the "furthest west incorporated community in America." The goal of the partnership was to create a line of stylistic photographic portraits that were as good quality as the best anywhere. Within a few months, however, the partnership dissolved and Cardozo and Crippen became business rivals.

Abigail E. Cardozo
Portrait of Loie Doe
ca. 1900
Silver print
7 3/4 x 5 1/2 inches
Cardozo showed a particular flair for portraits with her stylish poses and settings, especially when her subjects were women. She moved beyond the standard frontal, stilted poses that were common to the period and employed a three quarter facial view with her subjects looking away from the lens. Building on her artistic skills, she traveled to San Francisco to learn the latest hairstyling techniques and was able to offer "free hairdressing with each studio sitting." In addition, she painted her own gallery backdrops, adding props such as chairs, wall drapes, and banisters to enhance her compositions.

Abigail E. Cardozo
Studio Portrait
ca. 1900
Silver print
4 x 6 inches
Abbie's portrait business began while the cabinet card was still popular for studio photography. The cabinet card measured approximately 4 by 6 inches and was the perfect size photograph of its day. Cabinet cards became the standard for photographic portraits in 1870, and Cabi experienced their peak in popularity in the 1880s and were still being produced in the United States until the early 1900s. Cabinet cards frequently had artistic logos and information on the bottom or the reverse of the card which advertised the photographer or the photography studio’s services. [3] Cardozo, however, took great pride in introducing new lines of innovative mounts and photographic styles to her clients. This modernization featured ovals and square images on a wide variety of mounts, and was a great departure from traditional style portraiture. She introduced photo folders about 1902.[4]

In 1903, she again began divorce proceedings from her second husband, charging him with failure to provide for reasons of "idleness, profligacy, willful desertion, adultery, and extreme cruelty." Once again, the court ruled in her favor. By 1910, Cardozo retired from photography and remarried, for the third time, to Andrew Hayes, an inspector fro the City of Oakland where she concentrated on ceraminc painting, operating her own kiln at her home.

In 1925, Cardozo developed Parkinson's disease which affected her ability to paint. She retuned to Ferndale, where she remained until her death in 1937. [5]
1. Ressler, Susan R. ed., Women Artists of the American West, (North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). 207
2. Palmquist, Peter E., Shadowcatchers: A Directory of Women in California Photography 1900-1920, (Arcata, California: Peter Palmquist), 1991.
3. The Cabinet Card Gallery, Viewing History, Culture, and Personalities through Cabinet Card Images. (accessed February 28, 2013).
4. Palmquist, Shadowcatchers.
5. Ibid.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Edith White: Quaker and Painter of Roses

Edith White
Roses in the Sunroom
ca. 1895
Oil on canvas
50 x 36 inches
Private Collection
Edith White (1855-1946), along with Ellen Farr (1840-1907)and Fannie Eliza Duvall (1861-1934) were among the few professionally trained female artists in Southern California during the 1880s and 1890s. They collaborated professionally and helped to mold functional art colonies in Los Angeles and Pasadena during that time.

In 1859,White's Quaker family arrived in California by wagon caravan where her family settled at a mining camp in the Sierra Nevada region in 1859. She remained in Nevada County until 1868, with the exception of a 14-month residency in San Francisco. Later, in 1872, she enrolled at Mills Seminary (now Mills College), in Oakland, where she studied art until graduation in 1874. After graduation from Mills, she studied art at the School of Design in San Francisco under Virgil Williams until depleting her finances. She returned to finish her studies after earning enough money copying paintings for a San Francisco firm. [1]

In 1882, White moved to Pasadena, just northeast of Los Angeles, where she opened her own studio and worked in the city for ten years. White received early recognition for her realistic paintings of roses which became her signature genre.
In 1892, White relocated to New York in order to study at the Art Students League. One of her paintings of white roses was featured in a spring exhibition in New York City.

Edith White
White Roses and Glass Vases
ca. 1901
Oil on canvas
No size given
Private Collection
 White returned to California in 1893 where she continued to paint and was fundamental in the organization of the Pasadena Art Association in 1896. White was known as a deeply religious, formally educated young woman with a quiet strength. She became involved with the philosophy of the Theosophists (as did Imogen Cunningham) which espoused that "Deity, the Absolute, Infinite, All-powerful, Divine Essence [permeates] the life of everything that breathes, and [expresses] itself even in the flowers." White's concentration on floral studies is compatible with the Theosophists. [2]

White's desire to marry and start a family was discouraged by her father, who did not want interference of any kind in her artistic career. Her strong connection with family resulted in White's remaining under the influence of her parents throughout her adult life. By 1892, White and her parents moved to Point Loma, seven miles from downtown San Diego where Katherine Tingely, known as "The Purple Mother," had established the headquarters of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society. [3] For the next twenty-eight years, White served as the primary art instructor at the Raja-Yoga School where she was able to paint without concern of the commercial side of art.

Edith White
ca. 1901
Oil on canvas
No size given
Private Collection
In addition to her paintings of flowers Edith White also did portraits, landscapes and studies of the missions. Although White spent the bulk of her productive life in a single location, she exhibited widely. Her work was seen at the San Francisco Art Association, 1890; California Midwinter International Exposition, 1894; Arcade Sketch Club and Pasadena Art Association (founder), 1894-97; Denver Artists' Club, 1898. Works held: San Diego Historical Society; Santa Fe Railway; Mills College (Oakland); Mount Holyoke College; Denver Public Library; California Historical Society.

By 1930, White returned to northern California and established a home in Berkeley at 2801 Russell Street. At her studio there she continued to teach and paint into her old age. Never married, White died in Berkeley on January 19, 1946. [4]

Edith White
San Diego as seen from Point Loma
ca. 1927-1928
Oil on canvas
11 x 16 inches
Private Collection
Edith White
Blooming Desert Landscape
ca. n.d.
Oil on canvas
12 x 18.25 inches
Private Collection


1. Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998), 327.
2. Patricia Trenton, ed., Independent Spirits: Women Painters of the American West, 1890-1945. (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995), 44.
3. Ibid.
4. Edan Milton Hughes, "Edith White, 1855-1946," (accessed February 18, 2013). 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Short Lesson in the History of Women as Art-Makers

Caputi Hydria
ca. 460 BCE
Red Figure Vase depicting woman painting a volute krater
Women have been makers of art throughout history, in every culture. Often certain media such the textile arts, weaving, embroidery, quilting, and jewelry making are associated with women, however, gender roles in art vary with different cultures and communities. Many art forms dominated by women have been dismissed from the art historical canon as craft as opposed to fine art which lessened the importance, or relevance of their contributions to art.

Herrad von Landsburg
Self-Portrait from Hortus deliciarum
ca. 1180
 Original copied in 1818 by Christian Moritz (or Maurice) Engelha
 During the early Medieval period, women worked alongside men to create illustrated manuscripts and ornately carved capitals that clearly demonstrate examples of women at work in these arts, sometimes featuring women within the illustration. Women who were artists, often were of two literate classes, either wealthy aristocratic women or nuns. Women in the former category often created embroideries and textiles; those in the later category often produced illustrations.

The Renaissance and Baroque eras were the first periods in Western history in which secular (non-religious) female artists gained international reputations. The rise in the number of women artists during this period may be attributed to major cultural shifts, including a move toward humanism, a philosophy affirming the dignity of all people which was central to Renaissance thinking, and helped to raise the status of women. In addition, the identity of the individual artist in general was regarded as an important component of artwork beginning from that point in history. Art moved from that of craftsmen. Artists, unlike earlier craftsmen, were now expected to have knowledge of perspective, mathematics, ancient art, and to study of human body.

Knowledge of the body, considered essential for creating realistic human figures and group scenes, required working from male nudes and corpses. Women were typically barred from training from the nude, and were therefore precluded from creating such scenes, required for the large-scale religious compositions that received the most prestigious commissions during this time.

Women did sculpt and paint, however, but an apprenticeship period required quite a commitement. It involved living and training with an older artist for 4 to 5 years, which, of course meant that women who did train in painting were typically taught by a close male relative such as an uncle or father. Female sculptors such as Properzia de’ Rossi and Luisa Ignacia Roldán were awarded public commissions, and painters such as Lavinia Fontana, Catharina van Hemessen, and Judith Leyester began to depict themselves in self-portraits, not just as painters but also as musicians and scholars, which served to highlight their well-rounded education.

Catharina von Hemessen
ca. 1548
Mixed media: tempera on oak panel
Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland
Judith Leyster
ca. 1630
Oil on Canvas
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Women artists in the Baroque period began to change the ways in which women were depicted in art. As they were not able to train from nude models who were always male, they were certainly familiar with the female body and began to create images of women as conscious beings rather than detached muses. One of the premier examples of this presentation is Judith beheading Holofernes by Artemesia Gentileschi (seen below), in which Judith is depicted as a strong woman determining her own destiny.

Artemesia Gentileschi
Judith Slaying Holofernes
ca.  1620
Oil on canvas
78 x 63 inches
Uffizi, Florence, Italy
During the Eighteenth century in Europe, Academies became primarily responsible for training artists, exhibiting their work, and, inadvertently or not, promoting the sale of art. Most Academies were not open to the acceptance of women as students or as artists. In France, for example, the powerful Academy in Paris had 450 members between the Seventeenth century and the French Revolution, with only fifteen of its members female. Of those fifteen, most were daughters or wives of members. By the late 18th century, the French Academy resolved not to admit any women.  History painting, especially large scale compositions with groups of figures depicting historical or mythical situations was in vogue. In preparation to create such paintings, artists studied casts of antique sculptures and drew from male nudes which, of course, excluded female artists. With limited, or no access to this genre of Academic learning, are no existing large-scale history paintings by women from this time. Women artists made their reputations in other genres such as portraiture.

Angelica Kauffmann
Allegory of Poetry and Music
ca. 1782
Oil on canvas
Kenwood House, London, UK
In 1768, Angelica Kauffmann and Mary Moser, were founding members of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Kauffmann backed Maria Cosway, an Italian-English artist who also worked in France, as a candidate to enter the Academy. Although Cosway went on to attain success as a painter of mythological scenes, both women remained in a somewhat ambivalent position at the Royal Academy. A group portrait of The Academicians of the Royal Academy by Johan Zoffany which is in The Royal Collection, includes the men of the Academy, assembled in a large artist studio, together with nude male models. For reasons of decorum, given the presence of the nude models, Kauffmann and Cosway are not shown as part of the group, instead, they are present as portraits on the wall.

Johan Zoffany
The Academicians of the Royal Academy, 1771-71
ca. 1773
Oil on Canvas
Royal Collection, London
The emphasis on studies of the nude during training in the Academy remained a barrier for women until the 20th century, both in access to the classes and in terms of family and social attitudes to middle-class women becoming artists. After Kauffmann, Moser, and Cosway, no woman became a full member of the Academy until Laura Knight was admitted in 1936.
During the nineteenth century, access to academies and formal art training became more accessable for women in both Europe and North America. The Society of Female Artists (The Society of Women Artists) was established in 1855 in London, and has staged annual exhibitions since 1857, when three hundred fifty-eight works were shown by one hundred forty-nine women. Julia Margaret Cameron and Gertrude Käsebier became well known in the new medium of photography, where there were no traditional restrictions nor established training to prevent them from exploring the field equally with men.

Julia Margaret Cameron
Sadness (Ellen Terry)
ca. 1864
Carbon print
In the late 19th century, Edmonia Lewis, an African-Ojibwe-Haitian American artist from New York began her art studies at Oberlin College. She established a studio in Rome and exhibited her marble sculptures throughout Europe and the United States. In 1894, Suzanne Valadon became the first woman to be admitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in France. Laura Muntz Lyall, a post-impressionist painter, exhibited at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, and then in 1894, as part of the Société des artistes français in Paris.

The Twentieth century saw the art world shift from Paris to New York with the armory show in 1913. Post-Impressionism (Les Nabis), Art Nouveau, and Symbolism occured in the late nineteenth century and led to the first twentieth-century art movements: Fauvism in France and Die Brücke ("The Bridge") in Germany. Fauvism introduced heightened non-representational colour into figurative painting. Alice Bailey, a Swiss painter attended separate classes for women at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris where she became interested in Fauvism, and showed some paintings in the style at the Salon d'Automne alongside principal painters of the movement.
Alice Bailey
ca. 1917
Oil on canvas, 32 × 23½ inches
  National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Helen Lundeberg
Microcosm and Macrocosm
ca. 1937
Oil on masonite
37 x 19 1/2 x 1 5/8 inches
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Dadaism rejected conventional art styles altogether by exhibiting found objects. was an west coast American artist and studio potter, Beatrice Wood who was dubbed the "Mama of Dada, worked in the 1910s with Marcel Duchamp and Henri Pierre Roché to create The Blind Man, a magazine that was one of the earliest manifestations of the Dada art movement in New York City. Surrealism embraced the theories of Freudian psychology led to the depiction of the dream and the unconscious in art by such women as Kay Sage, Dorothea Tanning, Leonora Carrington, and one of my thesis artists, Helen Lundeberg.

Throughout the rest of the twentieth century and into the new millenium, women have continued to be innovators in art. 1950s American Abstract Expressionists included Elaine de Kooning, an Abstract Expressionist, Figurative Expressionist painter in the post-World War II era and editorial associate for Art News magazine. She married William de Kooning, a leading artist in the movement. Detachment from the world of imagery was reversed in the 1960s by the Pop Art movement, notably Andy Warhol, where brash commercial imagery became a Fine Art staple. One of the few women recognized as a Pop artist is Marisol Escobar. She began to be influenced by Warhol and Lichtenstein. One of her best-known works from this period is The Cocktail Party, a life-size group installation of figures at the Toledo Museum of Art. All the figures, gathered together in various guises of the social elite, sported Marisol’s face. Marisol dropped her family surname of Escobar in order to divest herself of a patrilineal identity and to "stand out from the crowd."

The Cocktail Party
ca. 1965/1966
Sculpture: wood and mixed media
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio
Modernism evolved to Post-Modernism. Photorealism evolved from Pop Art and as a counter to Abstract Expressionists. Subsequent initiatives towards the end of the century involved a paring down of the material of art through Minimalism and a shift toward non-visual components with Conceptual art, where the idea, not necessarily the made object, was seen as the art. Maya Ying Lin is an American architectural designer and artist who is known for her work in sculpture and landscape art. She is best known as the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. an excellent example of minimalism.

Maya Ying Lin
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Two walls of black granite approximately 500 feet long
58,132 names inscribed of the men and women who died in the war
Art of the twenty-first century is a time in which artists are free to explore any type of art in any medium- gone are the dictums of the Academy and strict guidelines with regards to content or materials. It is a wonderful time in which to be an artist, but also a challenging period. Who gets to define what art "is" and whether it is worthy of the designation? Cynthia Freeland's But is it Art? addresses the issue and explains why innovation and controversy in art matters. She discusses the relationship of art with beauty, culture, money, sex, and new technology. Too many to include in one short article, there are thousands of women who have worked as artists throughout history. I will try, in my own small venture here, to resurrect as many for you as I can.

Cindy Sherman
Untitled Film Still #58
Gelatin Silver Print
approximately 7 x 10 inches
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Further investigation and reading:
Cynthia Freeland, But is it Art?
Nancy Heller, Women Artists: an Illustrated History
Nancy Heller, Women Artists: Works from the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Jeannie Shubitz, Women, Art and Gender History,
Wendy Slatkin, Women Artists in History
Susan Fisher Sterling, Women Artists: The National Museum of Women in the Arts
C. Wiedemann, 50 Women Artists You Should Know
Cornelia Butler, Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art

Monday, February 11, 2013

Elizabeth Strong, The Rosa Bonheur of America

Elizabeth Strong
Precious Moments
ca. 1887
Oil on canvas
 61 ½ x 46 ¼  inches

Elizabeth Strong was an American artist who specialized in the painting of animals along with portraits, landscapes, and seascapes-primarily of the Monterey Penninsula. Born in Hartford Connecticut in February 1854, Strong spent the first four years of her life in Honolulu, Hawaii, where her father was pastor of the Fort Street Church.

In 1858, the family settled in Oakland, California where she was tutored at home by her father. At 18 years old, Strong, smothered by her father's dictatorial rule, left home and entered high school as a freshman. Strong quickly completed her high school education on her own. She was first exposed to art during her brief time spent in public school where she discovered her talent for drawing. That interest led to her exploration of watercolor and she began to paint wildflowers that she sold through local stores.

While studying art privately, Strong was introduced to the work of Rosa Bonheur, the French Realist painter who was an animalière, an artist who focused specifically on painting animals in subperb detail. Bonheur was the inspiration for the direction in which Strong's career was determined.    

Elizabeth Strong
English Setter with Terrier
ca. 1885
Oil on canvas/board
21 x 25 1/2 inches

Strong continued to study while she painted. She attended the California School of Design in San Francisco where she recieved the Alvord Diploma for Drawing in 1875 and the Alvord Gold Medal in the same category in 1876. [1] Strong accumulated enough money from the sale of pictures and pets of wealthy patrons to fulfill her dream to study abroad-she went to Paris. During her eight year sojourn in France, she studied further with animal painter Emil van Marcke and ran a school of her own.

Elizabeth Strong
Paris Painting
Oil on Canvas
n. d.

After her return to the United States, Strong studied at the Art Students League in New York City under William Merritt Chase before returning to Paris where she lived until 1905. [2] While there, exhibited often at the prestigious Paris Salon. From Paris, she returned to California and settled in Berkeley in 1905 when she placed 34 of her paintings done in Europe on display in San Francisco. The destruction of her work in the earthquake and fire of that year devastated her. Strong went to Boston where she taught at a girls school in the area before returning to Berkeley in 1907. After settling on the Monterey Peninsula in Carmel, she painted many more landscapes and seascapes and, in the mid-1930s, sketched in the Yosemite Valley. [3]Strong helped in the formation of the Carmel Art Association in 1927, and was active in the local art scene until her death in Carmel on October 30, 1941.

Elizabeth Strong
Fog Lifting on the Coast
Oil on Canvas
14 x 18 1/2 inches

Elizabeth Strong
Carmel River
Oil on canvas
ca. 1911
no size provided

 Member: SFAA; Sketch Club (SF); Carmel AA (cofounder); Carmel Arts & Crafts Club. Exh: SFAA, 1875-1912; Mechanics' Inst. (SF), 1875-79; Calif. Midwinter Expo, 1894; Calif. State Fair, 1894, 1930, 1935; Paris Salon, 1901; Berkeley AA, 1908; Sketch Club, 1909; Alaska-Yukon Expo (Seattle), 1909 (silver medal); Del Monte Art Gallery, 1910.  Examples of her work are exhibited in the Monterey Peninsula Museum. [4]


1.Kovinick, Phil and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick. An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998), 295.2. Select Fine Art, Twentieth Century European and American Paintings. (accessed February 11, 2013).
3. Kovnick, 295.
4. Select Fine Art.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Julia Morgan: California's First Female Architect

Julia Morgan
Anyone, resident or tourist, who has spent time in San Francisco has seen evidence of Julia Morgan's work. In the course of her 50-year career, Morgan designed over 700 buildings, many of which were Arts and Crafts houses found in Berkeley, Oakland, and Piedmont. Morgan's buildings are distinguished by her client-centered approach to design, her use of locally available materials, and her integration of the varied architectural traditions of the West with the vocabulary of a Beaux-Arts background. Although Morgan's buildings do not reflect one definitive style, they all exhibit a fine attention to detail and a craftsman-like quality of construction. [1]

A young woman of means with family money, Morgan was still determined to pursue a career. Fortunately, her parents were open minded people who encouraged their daughters to seek careers that would be meaningful to them at a time during the late Victorian era when women were expected only to be wives and mothers. Morgan attended the University of California at Berkeley with a strong interest in Mathematics which led to her major in engineering. Architect and guest lecturer Bernard Maybeck, was impressed with Morgan and included her in a series of informal architecture seminars at his Berkeley home. His philosophy espoused that, whenever possible, a building should appear to be integrated into its environment both in the way it fits into the site, and through the use of natural materials.[2] Maybeck encouraged Morgan to continue her studies at the prestigious École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris where he had distinguished himself.

After graduation from Berkeley in 1894 with a degree in civil engineering, the only female in her engineering class, Morgan headed to Paris in 1896 in spite of the fact that a woman had never before been admitted to study within the architectural division of the École. [3] The Paris school is the namesake and founding location of the Beaux Arts architectural movement in the early twentieth century. Known for demanding classwork and rigorous standards for education, the École attracted students from around the world – including the United States, where students returned to design buildings that would influence the history of architecture in America, including the Boston Public Library, 1888–1895, and the New York Public Library, 1897–1911. Architectural graduates, especially in France, are granted the title élève.

After she earned her diploma in 1902, Morgan returned to the Bay Area where she worked on various projects while she saved towards the establishment of own practice. By 1904, Morgan opened her first office at 456 Montgomery, a building that was demolished in the earthquake of 1906. Timing is everything. Morgan's career flourished in the wake of the earthquake with the ensuing architectural boom that provided her with commissions that included houses, churches, clubs, banks, schools, hospitals, and commercial space.

Morgan was highly regarded, especially by women, which led to a number of commissions for women's clubs, residence halls, and YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)-five in San Francisco, including the interior of the YWCA for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the World's Fair. 
Julia Morgan
The Chinatown, San Francisco, YWCA
Current home of the Chinese Historical Society of America
Photo Courtesy of the Chinese Historical Society of America

Completed ca. 1932
Morgan ran her office in the atelier style she had learned at the Beaux-Arts, creating a learning environment for all who worked there. Boutelle wrote: "Her generosity of spirit, as evidenced by the profit-sharing in the office and her support of her staff … make her come alive as a person dedicated to her associates and to the practice of architecture." [4]

Julia Morgan
Casa Grande-The Main House
60,645 square-feet
Mediterranean Revival Style
Hearst Castle Complex
Among her most well-known projects is Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. In 1919 William Randolph Hearst hired Morgan to design a main building and guest houses for his ranch located along the coast in San Simeon. Hearst had inherited this land along with an estimated $11 million when his mother passed away during the influenza epidemic. He instructed Morgan to build “something that would be more comfortable” than the platform tents that he'd employed at the ranch. Morgan’s classical training in Paris, her background in engineering, and her use of reinforced concrete, suited her well for the project. [5]

William Randolf Hearst with Julia Morgan
At the San Simeon Site
ca. 1926
Photograph: Irvin Willat

Over the course of the next 28 years, Morgan supervised nearly every aspect of construction at San Simeon, including the purchase of everything from Spanish antiquities to Icelandic Moss, to reindeer for the Castle’s zoo. She personally designed most of the structures, grounds, pools, animal shelters and workers’ camp down to the minutest detail. In addition, Morgan worked closely with Hearst to integrate his vast art collection into the structures and grounds at the castle complex. [6] By 1947, Hearst and Morgan had created an estate of 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways.

Julia Morgan
Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California
Neptune Pool
Photo ca. 1995
Morgan also created many modest homes for middle-class families. She specialized in local materials, particularly in her designs for smaller, less expensive houses and, in this way, her works can be comparable to other more familiar California progressive architects such as contemporaries Charles and Henry Greene, and her mentor, Maybeck. The Williams House (1928) is considered one of Morgan's most beautiful. The front facade is formal and symmetrical (seven windows across the second register and a central formal entrance) with quoins at the corners, and a frieze around the main door that evoke Renaissance architecture. The iron balcony and Mission tile roof suggest Mediterranean influences. The right wing and the garden facade have windows with Gothic tracery. Another window suggests Moorish influences. [7]

Julia Morgan
Williams House

Julia Morgan
Williams House
Window with Gothic Tracery

Whether commissioned by the likes of Hearst or the middle class, Morgan gave her clients a carefully considered solution. In 1950, after forty-five years in a practice during which she shared all her profits with her atelier-like staff, she closed her office and had her records destroyed. Morgan insisted that the buildings should speak for her adding that "architecture is a visual, not a verbal art." She died in February, 1957, at the age of 85.

Further Reading:
Sara Boutelle, Julia Morgan, Architect (1988).
Richard Longstreth, Julia Morgan— Architect (1977).
Two articles by Boutelle: "The Woman Who Built San Simeon," in the California Monthly (1976), and "Women's Networks: Julia Morgan and her Clients," in Heresies of 1981.
Nancy Loe, San Simeon Revisited (1987), a collection of the correspondence between the architect and William Randolph Hearst.
"The Julia Morgan Architectural History Project." The University of California at Berkeley __________________________________
1. Architectural World, Great Buildings, Julia Morgan, Architect, (accessed February 1, 2013).
2. Wilson, Mark. Julia Morgan: Architect of Beauty. (Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2007). 3.
3. David Parry, Julia Morgan, Architect, Encyclopedia of San Francisco, Entry taken from the website of David Parry at (accessed February 1, 2013).
4. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Robert E. Kennedy Library. Biography: Julia Morgan. (accessed February 4, 2013).
5. California State Parks: Hearst Castle. (accessed February 4, 2013).
6. Ibid.
7. Berkeley California: Williams House, 1928. (accessed February 4, 2013).

Friday, February 1, 2013

Miki Hayakawa: From Japan to Santa Fe

Miki Hayakawa
 Early Spring
 Oil on board
 26 3/4 x 31 3/4 inches
Miki Hayakawa was born in Hokkaido, Japan on June 7, 1899. At nine years of age, she immigrated to California with her mother to join her father, a pastor, who had arrived a year earlier. Resolute to make art her career, she defied her father's wishes and left the family home in Oakland while still just a teenager. Hayakawa was able to attend both the School of the Arts and Crafts at Berkeley in 1922, and the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, on scholarships. While at the School of Fine Arts, which she attended intermittently until 1929, she won a first prize and an honorable mention for her work. [1]

Miki Hayakawa
Portrait of a Negro
Oil on Canvas
26 x 20 inches
ca. 1926
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Hayakawa lived int the Bay Area until the 1930s, then she settled in Pacific Grove and Monterey during the late 1930s and early 1940s before relocating to Stockton in 1942. World War Two brought about extreme hardship for the Japanese aliens and Americans by the United States governments policies and relocation requirements. The hysteria by Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor was particularly intense along the Pacific coast of the Western United States. Residents were afraid that more Japanese attacks on their cities, homes, and businesses were imminent and demanded that the government intervene on their behalf. Japanese were removed from their homes, sometimes separated from other family members and sent into inland areas such as isolated desert areas of Arizona, California, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, and Wyoming, where Japanese-Americans were forced to carry on their lives under harsh conditions. [2]

Orders from the Western Defense Command
Courtesy Upstander Gallery
Oceana High School
The government relocated Hayakawa's family from San Francisco to internment camps, first at Tanforan Assembly Center in San Francisco, and then on September 17, 1942 to Topaz, Utah, where they remained until their release on October 19, 1945.  Miki was not in a relocation camp.   By March, 1942, she was in Stockton, California, and in July and September of that year was in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she settled. [3]
While she lived and worked in Santa Fe, Hayakawa joined the community of artists there that included John Sloan, Jozef Bakox, Alfred Morang, and Preston McCrossen, whom she married  in 1947. Hayakawa worked primarily in oils. Her portrait style clearly reflected the influence of Paul Cezanne in color, composition, and technique. During her years in California, she specialized in portraits but enjoyed creating landscapes as well. After she settled in New Mexico, she painted the region, traveling with her husband and other colleagues to sketch the landscape. Her oeuvre also includes still lifes.

Miki Hayakawa
Oil on canvas
36 x 34 inches

Bonhams & Butterfields San Francisco - Writing Home
Miki Hayakawa
Oil on canvas
20 x 15.75 inches
Miki Hayakawa
Christo Rey Church
Oil on canvas
ca. 1944
17 x 26 inches
Coulter-Brooks Art and Antiques
Exhibitions included the San Francisco Society of Women Artists; San Francisco Museum of Art; Oakland Art Gallery; University of California, Berkeley; Los Angeles Museum; Monterey County Fair, Salinas; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe; and New Mexico State Fair, Albuquerque.[4]
1. Kovinick, Phil and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick. An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998), 132.
2. J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah. Japanese-American Internment Camps During WWII. (Accessed January 30, 2013).
3. AskArt, The Artist's Bluebook. Miki McCrossen Hayakawa. (Accessed February 1, 2013).
4. Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, 132.