Fred Wagner was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1864. He received a scholarship to study art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins and in 1884 was made chief Demonstrator of Anatomy there. In 1885, Wagner left the Academy to make a painting tour of San Antonio, Texas, and then went on to Los Angeles, California, where he painted a number of landscapes and portraits. He returned to Philadelphia as an illustrator for the Philadelphia Press until 1902, and then moved to Norristown, Pennsylvania to paint full time. In 1912, Wagner opened a Philadelphia studio and taught classes in outdoor painting at Addingham, and later, at the Pennsylvania Academy's summer school in Chester Springs. His reputation grew, and he took on additional classes at his studio in the Fuller Building. In 1913, Wagner exhibited in the now famous Armory Show in New York City. He exhibited frequently at the Pennsylvania Academy's annual exhibitions, and in 1914, was awarded the Fellowship Prize. He was awarded Honorable Mentions from the Pittsburgh International, the Philadelphia Art Club, and the Carnegie Institute in 1922. His paintings are in the collections of the Cleveland Museum; St. Louis Museum, MO; Fort Wayne Museum, IN; Kalamazoo Museum, MI; Rochester Museum, NY; Worcester Art Museum, MA, and the Reading Museum, PA. Fred Wagner died in Philadelphia in 1940.
Carl Henrik Jonnevold (1856-1955) was born in Norway on June 1, 1856. He immigrated to the United States 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 greatly 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 does not state where. Member: San Francisco Art Ass'n. Exhibited: Alaska-Yukon Expo (Seattle), 1909 (bronze medal); California State Fairs (premiums). Works held: Oakland Museum; California Historical Society; De Young Museum. Courtesy Edan Hughes
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.
Sioma Lifshitz arrived in Shanghai on a freighter from Vladivostock in 1922. The 20 years old energetic Russian jew had no money but lot’s of dreams and soon started to work in a photography studio under the name of Sam Sanzetti. It took him 5 years to open in own studio in 1927, becoming one of the most famous photographer in Shanghai. The studio was first located on 73 Nanking Road (today 73 Nanjing Dong Lu), near the Bund and just behind the Palace hotel (today Swatch Art Peace Hotel). Construction on the Cathay Hotel (today Peace Hotel) was on-going at that time very and the opening in 1929 certainly also helped his business. The central position in the business center allowed him to become the photographer of the rich and famous in Shanghai, surely meeting with other successful business people of the time. His office later moved to 39 Peking Road (today Beijing Dong Lu) as reported in 1938 Shanghai Dollar Directory. Some of his photographs clearly remind of the calendar ads from the Carl Crowe company located very close on 81 JinKe lu and both men hanging around in similar circles probably worked with each other at some point. Sam Sanzetti left Shanghai in 1957 to immigrate to Israel leaving a Chinese wife and a stepdaughter behind and remade his life in his new country. He had fun memories of Shanghai as explained in an interview with an Israeli Newspaper years later. However he was never able to come back to Shanghai before his death in 1986.