Known as a California Impressionist influenced by Tonalism and also an early modernist painter, Karl Neuhaus was also an active lecturer and teacher. Neuhaus was born in Barmen (Wuppertal), Germany, in 1879. He apprenticed with a house painter while studying at the Royal Art School in Kassel, graduating in 1899. He proceeded to the Berlin Royal Institute for Applied Arts where he studied under Otto Eckmann, Max Koch and Carl Brunner. Neuhaus moved to San Francisco, California, in 1904 where he established a studio across a hallway from William Keith. While living in San Francisco he exhibited with the San Francisco Art Association and became a member of the Bohemian Club. After the San Francisco Earthquake in 1906 he relocated to the Monterey peninsula, in the town of Pacific Grove. There he was one of the founders of the Del Monte Art Gallery, which was the first gallery in the United States to show exclusively work by California artists. Between 1907 and 1909 he taught at the San Francisco Institute of Art, and from 1908 to 1949 he taught at the University of California, Berkeley. At the University of California, Berkeley he also served as the first chairman of the Department of Art between 1923 and 1925. During the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition Neuhaus served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the West and was also an exhibitor. As a California landscapist he was known for his painted scenes of Mendocino, the Sacramento Valley, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo. He contributed to the art community by lecturing all over the state and was also known as a writer. During his career his work was exhibited at the Oakland Museum in 1981, and the Del Monte Gallery from 1907-14. Karl Neuhaus died in Berkeley, California in 1963.
Landscape painter. Born on Aug. 26, 1865 in Stockton, CA when it was still a small frontier town. Mersfelder began drawing at an early age and in his teens moved to San Francisco where he studied for three years at the School of Design under Virgil Williams. While studying at that school, he often visited the nearby studio of William Keith who offered criticism. Mersfelder then moved to NYC where he had a studio for a few years. During his stay there, he exhibited at the first exhibition of the Society of American Artists. He also enjoyed the hospitality and criticism of George Inness and A. H. Wyant. He later exhibited in Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, and Baltimore. He won a bronze medal at the Louisiana Purchase Expo (St Louis) of 1904 and was awarded the Klio Assn prize at the annual exhibition held at the AIC where 18 of his canvases were accepted by the jury. He had a studio in Portland, OR in 1889 before returning to San Francisco in 1891. He was active in the local art scene when not out on painting forays in northern California. The year 1915 was spent in San Diego. Mersfelder lived his final years in Berkeley, CA and died there on Oct. 23, 1937. Although he made no known European trips, his works bear evidence of strong influence by the French Barbizons. Many of his landscapes of the rugged, old oaks of California compare favorably with those painted by William Keith during his late period. Exh: Calif. State Fair, 1882; Mark Hopkins Inst., 1897; Gumps (SF), 1900. In: St Francis Hotel (mural, Mt Tamalpais); Oakland Museum; CHS. CSL; BC; Ber; AAA 1907; DR.
Thomas Corwin Lindsay, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, was a well-known painter of landscapes, animal subjects and occasional portraits. He studied in Dusseldorf, Germany, in the 1860s, but lived and worked most of his life in his native city where he opened a studio in 1856 or 1857. He taught several pupils from his studio, and was a founding member of the Cincinnati Art Club, which became the Men's Art Club. Most of his landscapes were painted in Pennsylvania, up-state New York, the White Mountains of New Hampshire or other Eastern states. He exhibited at the Cincinnati Industrial Exposition, from 1870-83; Pogue's, in 1875; and the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, in 1896. His work is in the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum. Jim Lawrence, a relative of the artist, provides the following: According to the U.S. Census for 1900, Thomas Corwin Lindsay was born on July 1838 in Ohio and not 1839 as so often is recorded. In 1900, he was living in Cincinnati with his wife and son and working as an artist. His parents Thomas Lindsay and Elizabeth Lawrence were both born in Pennsylvania, his father in Cumberland County and his mother in Philadelphia.
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Known for poetic landscapes, often sunset, illuminated by atmospheric light, Julian Walbridge Rix was early in his career an active painter in California and then on the East Coast. He was born in Peacham, Vermont on December 30, 1850 and moved with his family to San Francisco in 1853. Because of his mother's death, he went back to Peacham four years later to live with his grandmother and graduating from Peacham Academy in 1868. He returned to San Francisco where he was apprenticed to a trading firm and later worked in a paint store painting signs and doing decorative work. Primarily self-taught, he was briefly a pupil of Virgil Williams at the School of Design. He became close friends with Amédée Joullin and Jules Tavernier, and when the latter established an art colony in Monterey in 1876, Rix was one of the "Bohemians" who followed him there. His studio in Monterey was in the French Hotel, but in 1879 he returned to San Francisco and shared a studio with Tavernier at 729 Montgomery Street. The art market in San Francisco during this period was not a healthy one which prompted Rix to move to Paterson, New Jersey in 1880 and subsequently establish a studio in New York City. This milieu was what he seemed to need to find artistic success. His work was exhibited at the National Academy of Design during the 1880s. He studied art briefly in Europe during 1889 and upon his return, he found that his watercolor and oil paintings were in great demand in the East. He maintained an active interest and participation in the San Francisco art scene and in 1883 sent back 200 paintings for a successful solo show. In 1888 his illustrations appeared in "Picturesque California." Rix returned to California for several months in 1901 and painted the valleys and mountains near Monterey and Santa Barbara. A handsome man with a New England accent and blond sideburns, he never married and was called the Adonis of the profession. Following a kidney operation, Rix died in New York City on November 24, 1903 and was buried in the cemetery plot of a patron-friend in Paterson, New Jersey. Source: "Artists in California, 1786 to 1940" by Edan Milton Hughes
The paintings of Jessie Arms Botke are a unique and wonder-filled world all their own. Most often, they are pictures of birds, a large variety including white peacocks, blue peacocks, cockatoos, ducks, swans, geese, pheasants, and toucans, among others. The birds are shown in natural settings accompanied by carefully painted flora, with studiously observed renditions of leaves and flowers. Far from being mere pictures of birds and plants, her paintings are richly adorned with an abundance of minutely rendered detail: every petal, every leaf and every feather becomes an important element of the whole pictorial scheme.1 Painter, illustrator, printmaker and muralist, Jesse Arms was born in Chicago, IL on May 27, 1883. She began her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago, and continued with J. C. Johansen and Charles Woodbury. In 1911 she obtained employment with Herter Looms in NYC and assisted Herter with the mural in the St Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Upon returning to Chicago in 1915, she married Cornelis Botke. The Botkes moved to Carmel CA in 1919. After an extended trip to Europe, in 1927 they settled on a ranch in Santa Paula, CA where she remained until her death on Oct. 2, 1971. She made a career of bold, decorative paintings of birds both in oil and watercolor, and often used gold leaf in her paintings. From about 1917 her work won many awards both in Chicago and Southern California. Member: Calif. Art Club; Calif. WC Society; Nat'l Ass'n of Women Artists; Carmen AA; Chicago Society of Etchers. Exhibited: AIC NAD; PAFA; LACMA; CPLH; Springville (Utah) High School, 1928; GGIE, 1939; Paris Salon. Awards: Cahn prize, AIC, 1918, Shaffer prize, 1926, Carpenter prize, Chicago Society for Sanity in Art, 1938. Works held: Art Institute of Chicago; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Municipal Gallery, Chicago; Mills College, Oakland; San Diego Museum. Murals: I Magnin Co. of Los Angeles; Woodrow Wilson High School in Oxnard, CA; Noyes Hall at the Univ. of Chicago; Kellogg Factory, Battle Creek, MI Literature AAA 1929, 1933; Ben; Fld; YAMP; AAW; WWA; SCA; WAA; Sam; WWAA 1936-66; So. Calif, Artists, 1890-1940; Women of the West.21 American Impressionism California School, Fleischer Museum (cat.)2 Hughes, Edan Milton, Artists in California 1786-1940, Hughes Publishing Company
A leading member of the avant-garde symbolist artists in Chicago, Claude Buck moved there from his birth place of New York City in 1919. He was known for his "fantastic, sometimes disturbing images with allegorical and literary themes" (Kennedy 97) drawn from writings of Edgar Allen Poe, operas by Richard Wagner, classical mythology and New Testament writings from the Bible. Some of these early paintings had nude figures rendered in classical style to express abstract themes developed through dream-like landscapes and disregard of relative scale or relatedness between the figures. These paintings had luminist elements achieved with light-toned paints worked with transparent glazes. In the 1920s to earn money by gaining public favor and also expressing his increasing disdain for modernism, Buck did a number of "hyper-real" portraits, figures and still lifes. These proved popular and aligned him with the opponents of abstraction and their "Sanity in Art" movement whose headquarters were in Chicago. Buck taught drawing and painting at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art from 1921 to 1926, and at the Art Institute, where he took over classes of George Bellows. In New York City before coming to Chicago, Buck had a reputation as a radical artist. He took his first art training from his father, William R. Buck, from the time he was ages three to fourteen, and then until he was twenty-two, he studied at the National Academy of Design where he was nicknamed "Kid Hassam" because his painting reminded viewers of that of Claude Hassam. Buck worked as a scene painter in the theatre and at the Willet Stained Glass company, and in 1914 began portrait commissions to earn money. In New York he founded a group named the Introspectives, which reflected his own problems with melancholy during that period. Members, holding their first exhibition at the Whitney Studio in 1917, were artists who expressed their personal feelings and experiences and included Raymond Jonson and Emil Armin. In this phase of his career, Buck was focused on Old World styles of Leonardo da Vinci, Ralph Blakelock and Albert Pinkham Ryder. In 1929, the Arts Council of New York voted him one of the top one-hundred painters in the United States. In 1949, Buck and his wife, Leslie, moved to California to a studio-home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and ten years later they settled in Santa Barbara where he died on August 4, 1974. In California, he was a member of the Carmel Art Association, the Santa Cruz Art League that he served as President in 1953,and the Santa Barbara Art Association. His paintings are in the collections of the Santa Cruz Public Library; the Santa Cruz City Museum as well as the Spencer Museum in Lawrence, Kansas; the Brigham Young University Museum; and the Museum of Elgin, Illinois.