Welcome to the William A. Karges Fine Art Blog

Welcome to the William A. Karges Fine Art Blog, where you'll be able to learn about Early California and Southwest Paintings and discover information about Museum Exhibitions, Current News, Events, and our gallery's new acquisitions of original paintings created between 1870 and 1940 by a wide variety of artists. We'll feature biographies, photographs, links to websites of interest to collectors, video tours, and detailed histories of some of California's most influential and intriguing artists. Visit our Gallery at Dolores & Sixth Ave in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California to view our collection of fine paintings in person.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Franz Bischoff Exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

Franz Bischoff (1864-1929) is considered to be one of the finest early California impressionist painters, and an outstanding colorist.  His free flowing brushwork calls to mind both the impressionist and post impressionist styles, and he was well known for his strong compositions.  He is remembered primarily for his floral still lifes, especially his roses, but his body of work encompasses a wide variety of subjects and locations.  His paintings include Southern California landscapes, Carmel coastal scenes, and beautiful vignettes of Cambria. 

"Point Lobos" (Monterey County, California)   SOLD

Born in Austria in 1864, Bischoff studied painting, design, and porcelain decoration in Vienna.  He immigrated to New York in 1885, became a successful china painter, and eventually earned a reputation as “King of the Rose Painters”.

"Vase"      SOLD

"Rose Garden"    SOLD

He first visited California in 1900 and soon moved to Los Angeles.   In 1908 he completed construction of his home in South Pasadena, built in the Italian Renaissance style.   His home included a gallery, ceramic workshop, and a painting studio.

During his early years in California he began painting en plein air, creating landscapes outdoors in natural light.  

"Arroyo Seco"         SOLD

In 1912, he traveled to Europe to study the French Impressionists, and afterwards his use of color became more pronounced, dramatic, and vibrant.  

"Bush Gardens"       SOLD

Bischoff was an early member of the California Art Club, whose other members include important early California Impressionists Edgar Payne, Hanson Puthuff, and William Wendt.  He was also a member of the Laguna Beach Art Association.  He died in Pasadena, California on February 5th, 1929 after a long, successful career.

Visitors to the Pasadena Museum of California Art can now view a large collection of the artist’s works at the current exhibit “Gardens and Grandeur: Porcelains and Paintings by Franz  A. Bischoff”.   The exhibition includes early ceramic works, as well as his later canvases.  The exhibition continues through March 20th, 2011.  The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday 12 to 5.  Call 626-568-3665 for further information.  In the future, the exhibit will also travel to the Crocker Museum and the Irvine Museum.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sacramento's Crocker Art Museum Reopens its Doors

Early California Art lovers were delighted to hear about the recent new addition to The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.   The new 125,000 square foot building, designed by architect Gwathmey Siegel, was opened to the public on October 10th.    Established in 1885, the Crocker Art Museum includes one of the premier collections of Early California paintings in the state.    The new building houses a gallery filled with early 20th century Southern California Landscape paintings. 

The monumental work, “Great Canyon of the Sierra, Yosemite, 1871” by early landscape artist Thomas Hill (1829 – 1908) is prominently featured in the new building. 

Other notable works in the permanent collection include “San Fernando Mission” by Charles Rollo Peters  , “April Skies, 1910” by William Wendt , and “A Shepherd and his Flock in the Early Morning Mist, 1930” by Granville Redmond.

Also found in the vast collection are works by artist Colin Campbell Cooper (1856 – 1937), known for his impressionist style views of cities around the world.

Master watercolorist Percy Gray, remembered for his delicate, misty, romantic landscapes, is also represented in the permanent collection. 

Other early California paintings on view at the Museum  include works by such notable artists as Franz Bischoff, John Gamble,  and Edgar Payne.

The Crocker Art Museum is located at 216 O Street, Sacramento, CA.  Phone: (916) 808-7000.  Hours are Tuesday & Wednesday 10 AM-7 PM, Thursday 10 AM-9 PM, Friday-Sunday 10 AM-5 PM, Closed Mondays.  Every third Sunday of the month is “Pay What You Wish Sunday”.

For additional information about currently available original paintings by these important early California artists, please visit William A. Karges Fine Art at Dolores and Sixth Avenue in Carmel, CA (831) 625-4266 and 427 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA (310) 276-8551 or visit the website at www.kargesfineart.com

Thursday, September 16, 2010

William Ritschel

William Frederick Ritschel was primarily known for his marine and coastal views of the Carmel area.   A talented and successful early California artist, his paintings still evoke a strong emotional response.  Using impressionistic lighting effects to create scenes that varied from quiet moonlit shores to dramatic, violent ocean storms,  Ritschel had a remarkable ability to convey a particular mood or atmosphere.

Ritschel was born in Nuremberg, Germany on July 11th, 1864 and worked as a sailor in his youth.  He was inspired by the ocean and its changing moods and became fascinated by it as he drew and sketched.    He studied at the Royal Academy in Munich, and was quite well known throughout Europe.   Immigrating to New York City in 1895, he also enjoyed considerable success in the United States.

He was a member of the Salamagundi Club and the New York Watercolor Society.   Like other followers of the Impressionist style, he explored the quality of light in each scene, using loose, clearly visible brushstrokes, that captured a feeling of movement and spontaneity.   His attraction to the ocean, with its ever-changing moods and motions, seemed perfectly suited to the impressionist approach. 

William Ritschel, "Seafoam and Rocks", 25 x 30 inches, SOLD

In 1911, he came to Carmel, California, which was quickly becoming a thriving artists’ colony as painters began to arrive following the San Francisco earthquake.     In 1912, he began to exhibit his California coastal scenes at venues on the East Coast and simultaneously displayed his works at the Art Gallery at the Del Monte Hotel in Monterey.

William Ritschel, "Trees and Surf", 24 x 24 inches, SOLD

In 1918, he built “Castel a Mare”, his castle-like home in the Carmel Highlands area, perched directly on the ocean’s edge.   He was known as a flamboyant character, often dressing in a flowered sarong.  

William Ritschel, "Carmel Highlands", 12 x 16 inches, SOLD

In 1913, artist Armin Hansen moved to Carmel, and was eventually introduced to William Ritschel in 1918.  Ritschel arranged for Hansen to show his works in a New York gallery and Armin Hansen eventually became one of the most prominent and celebrated early California artists who also focused on marine and coastal subjects. 

Armin Hansen, "Beating it for Home", 14 x 17, SOLD

Ritschel traveled around the world and painted the seas and coasts of various exotic locations including the South Seas, Asia, Capri, and Majorca.    He died in his beloved “Castel a Mare” on March 11th, 1949.   In October of 1949, Armin Hansen was the author of a moving tribute to the artist for Ritschel’s Memorial Exhibition which was held at the Carmel Art Association.

A number of Ritschel’s large scale paintings can currently be seen at the Monterey Museum of Art as part of the current exhibition “Land and Sea: Paintings and photographs of Monterey and Beyond”.   Selections on view include a remarkable and unusual canvas depicting New York City’s East River in Winter, a large dramatic work of a ship drifting in a stormy Sargasso Sea, and several moonlit Seascapes featuring local scenes from the Carmel and Monterey area.   The exhibit continues through October 24th, 2010.

For additional information on currently available paintings by William Ritschel and Armin Hansen, please contact our staff at William A. Karges Fine Art in Carmel at (800) 833-9185.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Exhibition - Lasting Impressions: Colin Campbell Cooper

Early American/California Impressionist artist Colin Campbell Cooper (1856 – 1937) is best known for his cityscapes, street scenes and architectural subjects painted during his extensive travels throughout the world.   A comprehensive exhibition of his works, “Lasting Impressions: Colin Campbell Cooper”, is currently on view at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum through October 8th, 2010.   The exhibit features over thirty paintings that portray his views of Europe, India and the East Coast, as well as local places of interest, such as the Santa Barbara Mission and the historic El Encanto Hotel.  Cooper joined the faculty of the Santa Barbara School of the Arts as Dean of Painting after arriving in the area in 1921.

His body of work encompasses a wide variety of subjects, including still lifes, portraits, and landscapes.   Cooper created his paintings using an Impressionist style and palette inspired by artists such as Childe Hassam (1859 – 1935).  

His many trips abroad led him to Europe, including a trip in 1886 to Holland, a country that inspired many of his most accomplished and exceptional works.    

"Amsterdam", Oil on canvas, 29 x 43  SOLD

In 1889, the artist moved to Paris, where he studied at several prominent art schools, including the Academie Julian.  Traveling throughout Europe, he painted numerous views of various scenic locations, including Rheims Cathedral in France, the medieval town of Bruges in Belgium, and the poetic Wells Cathedral in England

"Rheims, July 5, 1906", Gouache, 21 x 15   SOLD

"Street in Bruges, Belgium", Oil on canvas, 22 x 18  SOLD

"Wells Cathedral, 1902", Gouache, 18 1/2 x 16 1/2   SOLD

During his long and successful career, Colin Campbell Cooper was a member of many of the leading art clubs in the United States, including the distinguished National Academy of Design, and the American Watercolor Society.   Examples of his elegant Impressionist paintings can be found in such renowned institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“View of New York City”), the Dallas Museum of Art (“The Flatiron Building, 1904”), and the White House Collection (“The Capitol at Night”).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Landscapes of Hanson Duvall Puthuff

Early American Southern California Impressionist painter Hanson Duvall Puthuff was born to Alonzo Augustus Duvall and his wife, Mary Anne Lee,  on August 21st, 1875 in Waverly, MissouriWhen he was two years old, his mother passed away, and Puthuff was raised by a close friend of his mother’s, Elizabeth Stadley Puthuff.  He eventually assumed her last name.

Photo Credit: “Plein Air Painters of  California – The Southland” by Ruth Westphal

After training at the University of Denver Art School he moved to Southern CaliforniaArriving in Los Angeles in 1903, Puthuff  sometimes worked as a billboard painter over the next several decades.  The billboards were often situated in remote areas, in locations with especially beautiful views.   After completing his work on the billboard, he would pull out his easel and begin to sketch and paint.

"Summer Evening" 24 x 30 AVAILABLE NOW

During this period, he also worked as a theater scene artist, sometimes painting the advertising curtains used in the theaters.  He painted backgrounds for the model train exhibits on display by the Santa Fe Railroad, and background scenery for the animal exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry in Los Angeles.  One of his most notable accomplishments was the creation of a series of three panoramic dioramas for the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, commissioned by the American Museum of History in New York.

A family man, Puthuff enjoyed two strong and fulfilling marriages that lasted over thirty years each.  He was the father of five children, twins Lee and Duvall, and Robert, Paul and Matilda.

Around 1926, he began to concentrate full time on his easel paintings and the exhibition of his artworks at various venues.  One of the founders of the Laguna Beach Art Association, Hanson Puthuff is most often remembered for his majestic landscapes and quiet desert scenes. 

"Desert Landscape" SOLD

He enjoyed friendships with a number of well respected Southern California Impressionists, including fellow members of the California Art Club  Edgar PayneWilliam Wendt, and Jack Wilkinson Smith.

"Beach Road"  12 X 16   AVAILABLE NOW

Puthuff’s paintings are noted for their strong compositions, beautiful impressionistic lighting and atmospheric effects, free brushstrokes, and warm, rich colors. 

"Langourous Summer"  SOLD

Many of his works were painted outdoors, en “plein air”, and display a feeling of spontaneity and vitality.

"Malibu"  SOLD

Hanson Puthuff died on May 12th, 1972 in Corona del Mar, California, after a long and successful career.    His paintings can be found in the collections of numerous prestigious institutions, including the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Pasadena Art Institute. 

For additional information about acquiring currently available paintings by this artist, please contact William A. Karges Fine Art in Beverly Hills at (800) 276-8551.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Nocturnes of Charles Rollo Peters

Early California artist Charles Rollo Peters, famous for his quiet, peaceful tonalist nocturnes, has often been called “The Poet of the Night”.  His paintings, often created using shades of deep blues and rich purples, evoke feelings of mystery and serenity.  In today’s high-tech, fast moving world, they bring a much needed sense of tranquility to this artist’s many admirers and collectors.  They encourage the viewer to imagine the slower paced life that existed long ago on the Monterey peninsula where the artist made his home during the early 20th century.

Charles Rollo Peters "Monterey Adobe at Night" 11 x 14 1/4 SOLD

Artists of the Northern California tonalist movement, including Gottardo Piazzoni, Xavier Martinez, and Will Sparks, rejected the style and brighter palette of Southern California Impressionism.   Instead, they focused on creating an interpretation of nature using muted colors, soft outlines, and subtle nuances and gradations of single hues in a narrow range.  Their paintings convey feelings of calmness, peace, and timelessness, and often depict the uniquely hazy, foggy atmospheric effects commonly seen in the weather patterns of the Monterey area.  

Casa Sargenti

The darker hues Peters used in his night scenes, the nocturnes, create a vision where the forms are often indistinct and mysterious.  A viewer of one of his paintings once remarked that “It’s like a secret being revealed”.  As one’s eyes adjust to the light, the objects on the canvas, a crumbling Spanish Adobe, the branches of a Cypress tree, or the moon behind the clouds, slowly come to life and are quietly unveiled.

Charles Rollo Peters was born in San Francisco in 1862 to a wealthy family.  He clearly had a talent for painting, and in the 1880’s he studied with artists Jules Tavernier  and Chris Jorgensen at the California School of Design.  He traveled to Europe in 1886 for a period of four years, studying at the famed Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Academie Julien.

Notre Dame, Paris

He returned to San Francisco in 1890, married his first wife Kathleen Mary Murphy, and traveled back to Europe for an extended trip.  His son, also an artist, Charles Rollo Peters III, was born in France on September 25th, 1892 during this period.  During his time in Europe, he was deeply influenced by the beautiful paintings of James McNeill Whistler, who was reported to have said that “Peters was the only artist other than himself who could paint nocturnes”. 

He returned to California about 1895 and soon after that, moved to Monterey, making his home there on thirty acres of land that he purchased, in an area known as “Peters Gate”.

Castro Adobe

During his time in Monterey, he painted numerous scenes of the local Spanish adobe houses, including the Castro Adobe, as well as the California Missions, during his time in Monterey.

Mission Buenaventura

The lobby of The Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach is currently the site of one of the artist’s most striking large nocturne scenes.  Visitors to the area often make a special trip to view it, and many feel that the night sky in this painting, with its wonderful array of stars, is one of the finest he created during his lifetime.

In 1907, along with William Keith, Karl Neuhaus and Will Sparks (another artist noted for his jewel-like nocturnes), Charles Rollo Peters established the Del Monte Art Gallery in Monterey, which was the first gallery to focus entirely on the local California artists of that time.

His first wife, sadly, died in 1902, and Peters was also deeply upset by the passing of his young daughter in 1904.  His excessive spending, often on lavish parties for his artist friends, eventually caught up with him.  Though he did remarry in 1909, later in life he began drinking on a regular basis, perhaps as a way to mute the pain of his tragic losses and his increasing depression.  Authorities foreclosed on his Monterey estate, and his health declined.  He died in San Francisco in 1928, and will always be remembered for his quiet, tranquil and mysteriously beautiful nocturnes.

For additional information about available original paintings by this artist, please contact Patrick Kraft, Director of William A. Karges Fine Art, Sixth and Dolores, Carmel, Californiawww.kargesfineart.com (800) 833-9185 or (831) 625-4226.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Art of Mary DeNeale Morgan

With the 2010 U.S. Open Golf Tournament  beginning today, visitors from around the world have begun to arrive in Pebble Beach and Carmel-by-the-Sea. The dramatic beaches and sand dunes, the beauty of the Del Monte Forest, and the mysterious coastal Cypress trees continue to draw both tourists and artists to the area year round.

One of the most prominent early Carmel artists, Mary DeNeale Morgan (1868 – 1948), made her home in the quaint village of Carmel beginning in 1910, when she settled there, until her death at 80 years of age on October 10th, 1948.

Mary DeNeale Morgan  is best known for her pastels, watercolors, and oil paintings depicting the coastline, dunes, and beaches of the Carmel region. Her landscapes featuring the swaying, windswept Cypress Trees are sought after by knowledgeable art collectors, and enjoyed by the many museum visitors who appreciate this talented artist’s work.

"Three Cypresses"   SOLD

Born in San Francisco in 1868, Mary DeNeale Morgan moved across the Bay to Oakland as a young child. She was, for a brief time, a teacher at Oakland High School.

“Lake Merritt, Oakland”

A longtime favorite student of the brilliant landscape artist William Keith (1838 – 1911) , Mary studied at the School of Design in San Francisco under several notable teachers, including Arthur Mathews, prior to her move to Carmel. She worked in her home/studio in Carmel, which she acquired from the artist Sydney Yard, from 1904 onwards.

"The Artist’s Studio-Home on Lincoln near 7th Street in Carmel"

Mary was not only a well respected Carmel painter, but was an important part of the local art community. As a teacher and an organizer, she was instrumental in turning Carmel-by-the Sea into a vibrant art center. She was an early member of the Carmel Art Association, a group of local artists that included such famous members as Armin Hansen, E. Charlton Fortune, and master seascape painter William Ritschel. She was a student, attending William Merritt Chase’s summer classes in 1914, and eventually became a teacher, offering six weeks of instruction for $15 through the Arts and Crafts Club in Carmel. From 1917 to 1925 she was the Director of the Carmel School of art. Her paintings were also exhibited by the Del Monte Art Gallery and the California Watercolor Society.

Her beautiful, contemplative, elegant landscapes of the Monterey Peninsula can be found in numerous museums including the Monterey Museum of Art , the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Oakland Museum of California.

“Carmel Coast”

For additional information about available paintings by Mary DeNeale Morgan shown here, please feel free to contact us at (800) 833-9185 or (831) 625-4226 at our gallery in Carmel.  Please stop by and visit the gallery this week at Dolores Street and Sixth Avenue if you’re in town to enjoy the U.S. Open in nearby Pebble Beach.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The History of the Laguna Beach Art Association

For over a century, the scenic beauty of the landscape and the coastline of Laguna Beach has attracted scores of talented and distinguished artists, including such important Early California painters as Edgar Payne, William Wendt, and George Gardner Symons

Photo Credit: Laguna Beach Visitors and Conference Bureau

The new California Impressionist style, emerging as a primary genre of painting in Southern California in the early part of the 20th century, was a natural match for the Laguna Beach area.  This style, borrowed from the French Impressionists who painted in the late 19th century, focused on the effects of light, a bright and colorful palette, and the loose application of paint to capture a passing moment in time.

One of the first artists to arrive in Laguna Beach was Norman St. Clair, who was originally from England.  He helped to establish the area as an artist’s colony when he arrived there sometime between 1899 and 1902.  Norman St. Clair urged the prominent landscape artist Granville Redmond to come to Laguna Beach and the two painted together there.

George Gardner Symons had a studio in Laguna Beach, and acquired property at Arch Beach in 1903.  He asked his friend William Wendt, who became one of the most significant Southern California Impressionists, to visit.  In 1913, Wendt and his wife Julia built a studio-home in Laguna Beach and settled there permanently in 1919 until his death in 1946.  Wendt was also a founding member of the Art Association.

William Wendt
"Seaside Cottages"
Oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

Frank Cuprien, (noted for his spectacular seascapes), and several other artists, rented rooms from local residents before building their own studios.  Cuprien first visited Laguna in 1912, was charmed by the beauty of the area, and later moved to Laguna and built a studio dubbed "The Viking."

The first step towards the creation of the Laguna Beach Art Association was to establish an art gallery. With funds collected from local artists and residents, the abandoned community house was repaired and renovated.   The gallery officially opened on July 27th, 1918.  The exhibition included nearly 100 artworks by 25 artists.   This gallery eventually became what is now the Laguna Art Museum.

The Laguna Beach Art Association was officially founded on August 22nd, 1918, with one hundred and fifty charter members, thirty-five of whom were artists. The group was originally organized by Edgar Payne, who served as President.  Payne, perhaps the most well known of all the Southern California Early California artists, moved to Laguna Beach in 1917 with his wife, Elsie.

Edgar Payne (1883 – 1947)
"Laguna Coastline"
28 x 34 inches

Founding members also included Frank Cuprien, Anna Hills, George Gardner Symons, and Hanson Puthuff.

Hanson Puthuff (1875 – 1972)
"California Coast"
Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches

Another famous member of the Laguna Beach Art Association was California Impressionist painter and master colorist Joseph Kleitsch .  He and his wife, Edna, moved to Laguna Beach in 1920, where Kleitsch was inspired by the quaint street scenes and beauty of the coast.  His works are noted for their beautiful, vibrant colors.  Anthony Anderson, an art critic for the "Los Angeles Times" in 1922, was quoted as saying: "Kleitsch has discovered more varieties of loveliness in Laguna Beach than any other artist...he explored little intimate places, he painted quaint old streets with towering eucalyptus, and the gardens rioting with bloom”.

Joseph Kleitsch
"Laguna Boats"
Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches

J.N. (Nick) Isch, proprietor of the general store, post office, and livery stable, and brother-in-law to Joseph Yoch, owned the most famous cottage of the period, appropriately named “The Paint Box”. The Paint Box housed many artists over the years, including Norman St. Clair, Donna Schuster, Mabel Alvarez, and Edgar Payne. The building later was lost to fire in 1926.

William Griffith, distinguished painter of landscapes and coastal scenes, moved to Laguna Beach in 1920, and served as President of the Laguna Beach Art Association.  He died in Laguna Beach on May 25th, 1940.

Home to at least three major annual Art Festivals, Laguna Beach remains a vibrant artist colony today; a wonderful gathering place for those who appreciate spectacular paintings, scenery, fine restaurants, and pristine beaches.

For additional information about available paintings, feel free to contact us at our Carmel Gallery at (800) 833-9185, or visit www.kargesfineart.com