It is really funny how my Dot-to-Dot blog painting just falls into place. Carmel by the Sea had been mentioned to me by E of London and as I knew nothing about it I decided to do a little searching. First I found out an Art Colony was established there in the early 1900s so I thought Great, something interesting to write about. We need to know who these artists were and what they were doing. Today I continued my research having done all the preparation for our Halloween Party and what do I discover? It's Carmel's birthday! Carmel, as the city is affectionately known, is in Monterey County, California (USA), was founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. How ironical is that? This image of Carmel was taken in 1910.
Situated on the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel is known for its natural scenery and rich artistic history. In 1906, the San Francisco Call devoted a full page to the "artists, writers and poets at Carmel-by-the-Sea", and in 1910 it reported that 60 percent of Carmel's houses were built by citizens who were "devoting their lives to work connected to the aesthetic arts." Early City Councils were dominated by artists, and the city has had several mayors who were poets or actors, including Herbert Heron, founder of the Forest Theater, bohemian writer and actor Perry Newberry, and actor-director Clint Eastwood. (Wikipedia) I imagine much time would have been spent lying in the sand planning how to build the perfect place to live. Here we see Mary Austin (writer: 1868-1934), Jack London (writer:1876-1916), George Sterling (poet & playwright:1869-1926) and James "Jimmie" Hopper (writer:1876-1956) chatting on the beach at Carmel. The photo was taken by Arnold Genthe whom we will learn more about in the next blog.
In 1905, the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club was formed to support and produce artistic works. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the village was inundated with musicians, writers, painters and other artists turning to the establishing artist colony after the bay city was destroyed. The new residents were offered home lots – ten dollars down, little or no interest, and whatever they could pay on a monthly basis. (Wikipedia) Jack London describes the artists' colony in his novel The Valley of the Moon. This is the front cover of his book but sadly I don't know the name of the illustrator.
One of the early visual artists living in Carmel was Anne Bremer (1868-1923). Bremer's style was influenced by Post-Impressionism and considered to be one of the best artists in California who had a strong influence on the modern movement. Below is her painting The Blue Bay of Carmel.She had numerous solo exhibitions, including one in New York.
The painting is titled Ravenlocks.
And this one is Sentinels.
As I am running out of time today (the Halloween Party is calling for its manager!) I will give you some information about Anne Milly Bremer from Wikipedia. She was born in San Francisco on May 21, 1868, to upper-middle-class German-Jewish immigrants Joseph and Minna Bremer. In 1880-81 she traveled in Europe with her parents, and they brought back a cousin, Albert Bender, from Dublin, Ireland, to live with them and work for another uncle, William Bremer. She studied art with Emil Carlsen at the San Francisco Art Students League and with Arthur Mathews and others at the California School of Design, Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, receiving a Certificate of Proficiency in 1898. By the time she graduated she was on the board of the Sketch Club, an organization of San Francisco women artists, and she was its president at the time of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Under her leadership the Sketch Club produced the first major art exhibition in the city after the disaster and enlarged its membership to include men.
*She lived in Berkeley during 1907, attended summer classes at the University of California, and painted a series of East Bay landscapes. That year she also began exhibiting in the new gallery of California artists in the Hotel Del Monte in Monterey. After two years back in San Francisco, she moved to New York by January 1910, where she studied at the Art Students League. She sailed to Europe in mid-April 1910 and traveled, primarily in Italy, then settled in Paris, where she remained until September 1911 and studied at the Académie Moderne and Académie de la Palette.
After returning to San Francisco she had her first solo exhibition at the gallery of Vickery, Atkins & Torrey in March 1912 and another at the St. Francis Hotel in November–December 1912. While painting in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California during the summer of 1912, she met and befriended the artist Jennie V. Cannon, who used her own studio-gallery to stage the first exhibit of Bremer’s work on the Monterey Peninsula and hosted an opening-night banquet in her honor.
By 1913 her home and studio were in the Studio Building on Post Street in San Francisco along with Albert Bender and various other artists. She evidently played a leadership role in developing the building with spaces for artists to live, work and exhibit. In 1915 she had five works in the Panama Pacific International Exposition and received a bronze medal. Also in 1915, she was included in a three-person “Modern School” exhibition (with Henry Varnum Poor of Stanford and Jerome Blum of Chicago), at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art. Her work began appearing in California Art Club exhibitions that year. In 1916 she was elected secretary of the San Francisco Art Association, where she helped lead a major phase of growth in conjunction with the creation of an art museum at the Palace of Fine Arts. She had a solo show of 27 paintings at the Arlington Galleries in New York City in 1917 and participated in the Society of Independent Artists second annual exhibition in 1918. Below is Across Carquinez Straits (Northern California) painted in about 1916.
(Credit: Mills Collage of the Arts Museum)
Beginning in 1921 she was coping with leukemia. She gave up painting and turned to studying literature and writing poetry. She died in October 1923.
Bremer’s work incorporates several elements associated with modern painting. Each of her paintings calls attention to itself as a flat surface holding an arrangement of colored paint, not as a literal representation or illusion of reality. Brushstrokes are broad and distinct from one another, sometimes with areas of unpainted canvas showing through. There is either very little suggestion of depth, or the perspective is distorted or ambiguous. Colors are bold and not always naturalistic. The subject might be figures, landscape, still life or a combination of these, but what was more important to the artist was creating a successful composition and emotional effect. Her works, while individualistic, are sometimes reminiscent of those of Robert Henri and Marsden Hartley, two of the major figures in modern American art. Hartley once wrote that in his opinion Anne Bremer was “one of the three artists of real distinction that California has produced.”
The title for this work is Highlands painted in about 1920.
(Credit: Anne Harlow Independent Scholar)
Following her death in 1923, Albert Bender established several memorials, including an award for art students and the Anne Bremer Memorial Library at the San Francisco Art Institute, a marble chair in the Greek Theatre at the University of California, Berkeley, and an outdoor sculpture at Mills College. He also sponsored publication of a pair of limited edition books, The Unspoken and Other Poems and Tributes to Anne Bremer (Printed by John Henry Nash, 1927). Through Anne Bremer's influence and contacts with artists, Albert Bender was inspired to become an important patron of artists and art museums and a founder of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Mills College Art Museum. Bremer and Bender are buried side by side in Home of Peace Cemetery, Colma, California. (Wikipedia)