Born in Michigan on Aug. 2, 1885. By 1946 Near had moved to southern California and was painting around Joshua Tree. She died in Los Angeles on July 23, 1965. Her work includes landscapes of the High Sierra. Exh: Laguna Beach AA, 1960; Festival of Arts (Laguna Beach), 1961; Costa Mesa High School, 1962. Source: Edan Hughes,
Painter, etcher, and muralist, Will Sparks became one of California's premier artists, known for his mission and nocturnal adobe scenes. He was highly prolific, completing about three-thousand oil paintings. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and showed art talent as a youngster, selling his first painting when he was age twelve. He became a doctor, but his love of art prevailed. He attended the St. Louis School of Fine Arts and then went to New York and then Paris to the Academies Julian and Colarossi where he studied with Gerome, Harpignies, and Bouguereau. In Paris he earned money as an assistant to biologist Louis Pasteur for whom he made anatomical drawings. He was also much influenced by the Barbizon painters and Cezanne. He returned to St. Louis and in 1886 exhibited in the St. Louis Expo where he met Mark Twain whose stories of California inspired him to head West. He stayed briefly in Cincinnati and Denver and then California, where he did newspaper illustrations in Stockton and Fresno. In 1891, he settled in San Francisco, establishing a studio at 163 Sutter Street. He combined illustration work and writing for the San Francisco Evening Call with easel painting including all of the California missions. He was a member of the Bohemian Club, a free-spirited, fun loving group that lived "hand-to-mouth" for their art. He also painted in Arizona, and a painting Tucson was done in 1894. In 1904, he joined the faculty of the University of California, doing anatomy drawings for medical classes, and in 1907, he was a founder of the Del Monte Art Gallery. He died in San Francisco on March 30, 1937. His paintings are in the collections of the Huntington Library in San Marino and the Crocker Museum in Sacramento. Source: Edan Hughes,
Artist Biography Austrian sculptor was born in Vienna in 1865. His teachers were Karl Waschmann (1848-1905), known for his ivory sculptures and portrait plaquettes of contemporary celebrities, and Stefan Schwartz (1851-1924), who exhibited in Paris, including the Exposition Universelle of 1900 where he won a gold medal. Kauba’s intricate bronzes, imported to the United States between 1895 and 1912, were cast at the Roman Bronze Works. Kauba was part of the nineteenth-century tradition of polychrome bronze sculpture. There were several types of patinas on a single statue: he could render the color of buckskin, variously tinted shirts, blankets, feathers, as well as beaded moccasins. Reportedly, Kauba came to America around 1886. Inspired by the Western tales of German author Karl May, he traveled to the West and made sketches and models. Critics, however, pointed out inaccuracies of costume and other details. For instance, the guns that his “mid-nineteenth-century” figures use are models produced after 1898. Apparently he did all of his works back in Vienna. Besides the variety of color, Kauba’s bronzes show a great range of textures and his style is highly naturalistic. The sculptor loved ornament, some of which he rendered with coiled wire for reins, rope and feathers in headdresses. He successfully rendered figures in motion and often executed compositions with more than one figure. Berman (1974) illustrates non-Western subjects by Kaula, such as the pendants Where? and There (ca. 1910), a seated Scottish couple, impressive in the expressions and the details on patterned fabrics of both sitters. Another genre piece is Buster Brown, ca. 1910, and Nude on Vase shows Kauba’s versatility even further. The smooth skin contrasts with the stylistic, plant-like vase.
William ADAM 1846 - 1931 William Constable Adam (1846-1931) was born in Tweedmouth, England on August 29, 1846. He studied under Delecluse in Paris, Brydall and Greenlees in Glasgow, and in Buenos Aires before immigrating to Boston in 1893. After moving to California in 1898, he soon settled in Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula. Known as "Professor" Adam, he gave art lessons in his rose-covered cottage at 450 Central Avenue. With a bright and colorful palette of both oil and watercolor, he specialized in views of the Monterey area such as sand dunes, cottage and garden scenes, and the local flora. Adam died in Pacific Grove on October 17, 1931. Member: Boston Art Club; Lowell (MA) Art Club; Glasgow Art Club. Exhibited: Royal Scottish Academy; California State Fairs (medals); Del Monte Art Gallery (Monterey), 1907-12; Berkeley Art Ass'n, 1908; Sorosis Club, 1913; California Artists, Golden Gate Park Museum, 1916; Rabjohn & Morcom Gallery (San Francisco), 1916. Works held: City of Monterey Collection; Santa Cruz City Museum; Silverado Museum (St Helena, CA); Shasta State Historical Monument.
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A native of New York and the son of an engraver, James David Smillie earned his early reputation for his etching skills but later for watercolor landscapes. He began etching at age 8, learning from his father, James Smillie (1807-1885). At age 14, he did a set of plates illustrating John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost. He had a job as a bank note engraver, and then he and his father had a business, collaborating as engravers with a specialty of bank-notes. They also did the engravings for the 1857 Mexican Boundary Survey Report. James David Smillie helped organize the New York Etching Club, and he was the U.S. representative to supply examples of American etchers' work to the Painters-Etchers Society of London. Although he continued working with etching, drypoint, aquatint and lithography, in 1865, he began doing landscape painting and was especially interested in mountain scenery. Smillie traveled in California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in Colorado in the Rocky Mountains, and in the eastern United States in the Catskills and Adirondacks. From these trips he did illustrations that were published in 1872 in the magazine Picturesque America. In 1881, Smillie got married, and the couple had two sons. By 1884, he was in France, and spent much time there doing prints of landscapes, figures, portraits and cityscapes. Between 1888 and 1896, he produced a set of drypoint floral still-life prints. James David Smillie founded the American Watercolor Society and served as president and treasurer. He also taught classes at the National Academy of Design in 1868 and from 1894 to 1903.
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Biography Decamps, Alexandre Gabriel 1803-60, French genre and historical painter, engraver, and lithographer. First known for his caricatures and illustrations, he turned to painting in thick impasto and strong color. One of his richest sources was the Middle East, which he depicted in vivid detail. His Good Samaritan and Night Patrol at Smyrna are in the Metropolitan Museum New York.