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California Style: Art and Fashion of the California Historical Society

March 30 - May 28, 2007

 

Step back over 100 years to experience California's remarkable Victorian-era opulence at the Autry National Center's new exhibition California Style which opened March 30 in the Autry's Museum of the American West. Classic California and Western American paintings are exhibited alongside sumptuous ball gowns and magnificent 19th century wedding dresses, offering an invaluable glimpse of life, land, work, and fashion during this unique period. (right: Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), On the Merced, n.d., Oil on canvas. California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-131-1)

The exhibit begins in the decades of growth following the Gold Rush when, seemingly overnight, Gold Rush money combined with a population boom to create a new market for art and fashion. Visitors look at the objects through the eyes of their newly-wealthy California owners who built grand houses, bought art in record numbers, and dressed in the latest styles of New York and Paris.

At the center of this special exhibition is a room recreating a private parlor from a 1880s, with lush curtains and period-style architectural details evoking the feeling of an affluent Victorian-era fashionable Californian home. A mannequin wearing the formal dress of the era invites you to enter the room as if a party was in progress. Still life paintings, landscapes, and other scenes of abundance, including those from renowned artists Albert Bierstadt, James Walker, and Maynard Dixon, fill the walls as they would have in the home of a wealthy art collector.

Additional highlights of the exhibition include an elegant velvet and satin evening dress from the 1880's, complete with a miniature wilderness landscape decorating the buttons. This dress, a dramatic work of art in itself, is displayed beside Albert Bierstadt's Yosemite painting On the Merced. Bierstadt's paintings helped his audience see the landscape as remote and exotic, a natural cathedral, confirming the view that California was truly the Promised Land, filled with natural riches. Placing what Californians wore next to paintings they bought shows how the California social elite pursued European sophistication while maintaining their nostalgia for a frontier past

The California Style exhibition is the first under the Autry's partnership with the California Historical Society, finalized in 2005, and designed to bring pieces of the vibrant history of California to a wider audience. The treasured pieces of the Society's art and artifact collection in this exhibition have never been shown in Southern California.

"Through this extraordinary exhibition, visitors will re-discover the magnificent signature art and costume design of Victorian-era California," said John Gray, President and CEO of the Autry National Center. "We are thrilled to be showing these unique objects to Los Angeles for the first time."

The California Style exhibition will run through May 28, 2007.

 

Background

Upon entering the gallery, visitors are introduced to the California Historical Society (CHS) by a signature painting and dress from the CHS collection. The exquisite ivory beaded wedding dress worn by Mary Amelia Hale when she married James Cunningham on September 28, 1881 at Trinity Church in San Francisco showcases the growing wealth and stability of the time. William Keith's painting Haying in Marin County (1873) serves as an introduction to the painting collections. (right: Woman's evening dress, c.1883. Velvet, satin, metal. California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-161-71 [-1 and -2] )

From this brief introductory area, visitors move into a section that highlights the appeal of ranching and historical subjects to Californian and national audiences. Paintings by James Walker -- including his iconic Roping the Bear -- evoke nostalgia for a disappearing tradition as they celebrate the pageantry, dress, sport and spectacle associated with Spanish California.

The exhibition's first section features works by early California artists and the emergence of distinctive regional subjects in context of the Victorian-era fascination with the past and appreciation for sentimentality and romanticism. Scenes of natural wealth such as Albert Bierstadt's On he Merced, alongside paintings of California's refined and elegant citizenry, evoke an emerging elite who use images of California's wilderness landscape and frontier past to cultivate their own identity. A woman's 1880 claret dinner dress with buttons that depict a wilderness scene is playfully paired with Bierstadt's painting.

At the center of this special exhibition visitors will walk into a room that recreates a private parlor from a 1880s fashionable Californian home. Lush curtains and period-style architectural details evoke the feeling of an affluent Victorian-era home. Still life paintings, landscapes, and other scenes of abundance from the California Historical Society collection fill the walls as they would have in the homes of wealthy collectors. A mannequin dressed in formal dress of the era will be posed as if you entered a room where a party was already in progress.

This part of the exhibition seeks to create a sense of the people and taste that created that transformed places like San Francisco from frontier towns into cosmopolitan, urban centers. By romanticizing the frontier experience, wilderness, Native America and California's Spanish history, art and fashion also allows us to explore the importance of new wealth and artistic patronage in the development of California's increasingly stylish identity and San Francisco as one of the nation's art centers. Last, by creating a fuller tableau, visitors will have a change to see the Victorian-era aesthetic in which ornament, decoration, appreciation of the past, and romanticism was all part of culture of refinement simultaneously expressed in paintings, homes and dress.

A small side room off of the center tableau explores perceptions of native people in art. Though not considered fashionable themselves, California's Indian population was often seen by Victorian audiences as picturesque additions to the rural landscape. Extremely popular in the 1880 and 1890s, Grace Carpenter Hudson's portraits of native women and children in particular sentimentalized California Indians as quaint and simple people, nostalgic emblems of traditional life prior to industrialization.

The last section focuses on art and fashion at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the twentieth century. Here we explore revolutions in art after 1880, pairing a painting by bohemian artist Thaddeus Welch with a women's tea gown, also inspired by French and English aesthetic movements. We show the popularity of new aesthetics, from Impressionism to the "New Women," and the continued importance of Europe is influencing the art and fashion of Californians.

California Style: Art and Fashion of the California Historical Society ends with a mannequin dressed in a 1930s black tunic dress, posed next to the equally modern painting by Maynard Dixon, Sunshine and Rain (1929). Here visitors will see the rise of California as a modern fashion trendsetter and artistic center. A successful San Francisco artist and illustrator, Dixon similarly represents a renewed interest in regional subjects, especially the wide-open landscape.


Selected Exhibition Text Panels

 

Introduction

 
 
California's Gold Rush ushered in a new era on the Western frontier. Thousands of people rushed in. Newly wealthy Californians built grand houses, dressed in the latest fashions, and bought art in record numbers. California artists, in turn, created powerful images of the state's traditions, wealth, and beauty for a national audience.
 
Such rapid change soon fostered nostalgia for a disappearing rural past, especially among California's elite. In 1871 several pioneers joined together to create the first California Historical Society. Later members collected paintings, high fashion, and other evidence of California's unique landscapes and vanishing traditions.
 
In bringing together art and fashion collected by the California Historical Society, we invite you to explore how Californians created new identities as fashionable Westerners.
 
 
History/Ranching Section
 

Fantasy Ranch

 
Romantic images of California's pre­Gold Rush, Spanish-Mexican past abounded in the second half of the nineteenth century. Stately mission ruins and elegant, spirited vaqueros became prominent icons of an earlier gracious and fashionable society.
 
Vaqueros, or Spanish-Mexican cowboys, were enormously popular subjects in California fiction and art of the 1870s. Mexican Californian, or Californio, land owners and their children celebrated a ranching past, and early white pioneers also picked up elements of vaquero style in creating a new Western identity. Artist James Walker was famous for large, colorful canvases that celebrated the pageantry, costume, and style of vaqueros as ranchers and horsemen.
 
In reality, European American arrivals did not warm easily to their new Californio neighbors. Before 1870, racist writings and images described Mexicans as violent and unscrupulous. By the time Walker painted these works, most of the great ranchos had been wrested from Californio families and divided into smaller tracts for mining, agriculture, and other forms of development.
 
 
 

Victorian-Era California, 1850-1880

 
"As we increase in wealth and stability our citizens have more time to devote to matters of taste . . . [W]hat tends to public refinement, and the cultivation of the beautiful, is patronized with increased liberality."

-- Alta California, 1859

 
 

"Everything and anything in the semblance of a picture sold then. The people had money, had more of it than they needed, so they bought artworks generously."

-- William Keith, artist, on 1860s California,

"Future of Art in California," San Francisco Call, 1895

 
 
Center Tableau/Room
 

1880s Parlor

 
This room creates the feeling of an 1880s parlor. The parlor was used for entertaining and important rites of passage. It was also a stage where families displayed their refinement and fashionable taste to the outside world.
 
California's economic growth created middle- and upper-class men and women who could afford to buy art to decorate their homes. Society events and receptions helped make art fashionable, and wealthy Californians often set aside whole rooms for art and entertaining. In Sacramento, Edwin and Margaret Crocker built a separate gallery next to their home specifically to display their art collection. In 1885, Margaret donated their collection to the city, creating the first public art museum in the West.
 
 
Panel with captions for items in parlor
 
MANNEQUIN
 
Woman's reception dress with train
C. 1880
Velvet
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-161-101
 
Fan
C. 1880-1900
Ostrich feathers
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-161-358
 
Woman's shoes
C . 1880
Kidskin
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-161-233
 
PAINTINGS
William Keith (1838-1911)
Approaching Storm, Mount Tamalpais, 1880
Oil on canvas
Gift of Caroline Day
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-39
 
William Keith (1838-1911)
High Sierras, 1880
Oil on canvas
Gift of Anne Witter-Gillette in honor of Mrs. Dean Witter
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-43
 
William Keith (1838-1911)
Springtime in Santa Clara Valley, 1886
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center;
 
Thomas Hill (1829-1908)
Black Butte Mount Shasta, n.d.
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. D.C. Mosby
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-27
 
Thomas Hill (1829-1908)
Portrait of Adelaide Neilsen Hill, n.d.
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-29
 
Thomas Hill (1829-1908)
Scene of Yosemite, Bridalveil Falls, n.d.
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-30
 
William Keith (1838-1911)
High Sierra, n.d.
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-42
 
William Keith (1838-1911)
Pastoral, n.d.
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-44
 
William Keith (1838-1911)
Sunset, n.d.
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-49
 
Julian Walbridge Rix (1850-1903)
Sonoma Valley, n.d.
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center;
 
Samuel Marsden Brookes (1816-1892)
Still Life with Plums and Pear, 1872
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-4
 
Samuel Marsden Brookes (1816-1892)
Cockfight, c. 1872
Oil on canvas
Gift of William T. Martinelli
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-1
 
Samuel Marsden Brookes (1816-1892)
The Artist's Hand with Still Life, n.d.
Oil on board
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-5
 
Samuel Marsden Brookes (1816-1892)
Trout in Tank, n.d.
Oil on canvas
Gift of William T. Martinelli
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-6
 
 
 
Indian Group
 

Native California

 
Like the Spanish-Mexican people in James Walker's paintings (seen earlier in this exhibition), California's Native American people fascinated collectors, artists, and tourists. As Indians integrated into California's developing cash economy, paintings, prints, and other images from the late nineteenth century usually portrayed them as either exotic and "primitive" or in terms of their "civilized" qualities.
 
Grace Carpenter Hudson was perhaps the best-known painter of California Indians. She began professionally painting Pomo people after settling with her ethnologist husband in Ukiah. Hudson often focused on children, and her paintings were acclaimed in her lifetime as sympathetic portrayals of California's original residents as they struggled to assimilate. Other artists stereotyped Indians as "children of nature," placing them in scenes of California's wilderness to add scale and decorative flair.
 
 
 

Beginnings of Modern California, 1890-1930

 
"My object has always been to get as close to the real thing as possible-people, animals, and country. The melodramatic Wild West idea is not for me. . . . The more lasting qualities are in the quiet and more broadly human aspects of Western life."

-- Maynard Dixon, artist


Exhibition Label Captions

Introduction
 
MANNEQUIN LABEL #1
Include Image of Mary Hale in wedding dress
Include image of wedding dress
 
Wedding dress
1881
Silk with appliquéd chenille and beadwork
Worn by Mary Hale
Gift of Jane Engert
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-161-433
 
Shoes
C. 1880
Satin
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-161-236
 
Wedding Portrait
Mary Amelia Hale
San Francisco, California 1881
California Historical Society
 
Successful Settlers
Mary Amelia Hale wore this dress when she married James Cunningham at Trinity Church, San Francisco, in 1881. Extravagant bridal gowns like this one appeared on the frontier as families grew in wealth and stability.
 
Mary sailed to California with her family in 1863 when she was seven and grew up in boomtown San Francisco. By the time she married, she had become part of the city's social elite.
 
 
PAINTING LABEL #1
Include image of Keith painting
 
William Keith (1838­1911)
Haying in Marin County, 1873
Oil on canvas
Gift of H.C. Moffitt
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center;
 
As San Francisco's wealthy amassed major collections of art, they looked for images that reflected their own beliefs in California's developing economy and cultural heritage, from its unique citizenry to its landscape of natural abundance.
 
Sought-after artists often became fashionable figures in their own right. A "local star," in the words of a San Francisco socialite, William Keith's landscapes celebrated rural California while advertising the state as a center of agriculture. Paintings such as Haying in Marin County were intended for the dining halls and parlors of the rich, where they engaged private audiences with the notion that California was ripe for economic and artistic cultivation.
 
 
Fantasy Ranch
 
PAINTING LABELS
 
Fortunato Arriola (1827-1872)
Temple Emmanuel and the San Francisco Armory, c. 1860
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society;
 
James Walker (1818-1889)
Roping the Bear, Santa Margarita Rancho of Juan Forster, 1870
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Walker
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-131-3
 
Fashion was important to artists, and few subjects represented high style more so than did the California vaquero, the skilled Spanish cowboys notorious for their feats of horsemanship.
 
Vaqueros represented many qualities that artists-and their patrons-found most attractive about life in California: colorful pageantry and beautiful costumes, historic
tradition, and a wealthy, land-owning elite. Most of California's ranchos had already been sold off by the 1870s, and paintings such as Roping the Bear conveyed nostalgia for the days "before the gringo came," at the same time that it made the state appealing to wealthy developers and entrepreneurs.
 
 
James Walker (1818-1889)
Cattle Roundup, 1878
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony R. White
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-9
 
 
James Walker (1818-1889)
Cattle Drive #1, 1877
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Walker
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-14
 
 
James Walker (1818-1889)
Cattle Drive #2, 1877
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Walker
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center
 
 
 
Victorian-Era Californians, 1860-1885
 
Thomas Hill (1829-1908)
The Miner's Children, 1862
Oil on canvas
Gift of the Gary J. Farotte Family
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-31
 
Before the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, the trip to California was long and perilous. Newspaper accounts had sensationalized the tragic experience of the Donner party in 1846, when a group of immigrants trapped in the Sierra Nevada resorted to cannibalism to survive. Another famous incident was that of the Oatman family, most of whom were killed by Apache warriors on their way to the California gold fields in 1851.
 
As the grueling and dangerous nature of the trip became legendary, a lucrative market arose for images representing the journey as one of mythic proportions. In 1862, Thomas Hill had recently arrived in California from Boston, and he likely painted The Miner's Children as a means of connecting with San Francisco's burgeoning upper class. The members of this group prided themselves on their taste in art as well as their adventuresome character in settling the Golden State.
 
Thomas Hill (1829-1908)
Oil on canvas
Thomas Hill, Jr. Fishing, n.d.
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center
 
MANNEQUIN LABEL #2
 
Woman's evening dress
C. 1883
Velvet, satin, metal
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-161-71 (-1 and -2)
 
Shoes
C. 1880
Kidskin
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-161-239
 
Romantics in an Industrial Age
Look closely at this elegant dress and you will find a miniature wilderness landscape decorating the buttons: the romance of nature tailored to a dinner dress. Women commonly added real feathers, fur, and flowers to complete their outfit.
 
Like Albert Bierstadt's painting, this dress is a dramatic work of art. By 1880, women's dresses were quite complicated in their construction. They were one-of-a-kind and made to fit a specific client's taste and body. This one highlights interesting contrasts of texture, color, and pattern for deliberate effect.
 
 
PAINTING LABEL #2
 
Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902)
On the Merced, n.d.
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-131-1
 
In 1863 Albert Bierstadt became the first national painter to see Yosemite Valley, the "chief jewel in California's scenic crown." He parlayed the experience into fame and fortune through large, ambitious canvases such as On the Merced.
 
Bierstadt's Yosemite paintings helped his audience see the landscape as remote and exotic, a natural cathedral. This vision appealed to California's newly wealthy, who believed that westward expansion was ordained by God. In this way, landscape paintings such as On the Merced would have confirmed the view that California was truly the Promised Land, filled with natural riches.
 
William Hahn (1829-1887)
Snowstorm in the Sierras, 1876
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mrs. Eric Gerson
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-24
 
William Hahn's Snowstorm in the Sierras shows an excursion to the wilderness caught in a sudden and dramatic snowstorm. From the fast-moving stagecoach drawn by a large team of horses, we can tell this is a group of sophisticated urbanites whose trip to the mountains has gone awry.
 
Snowstorm in the Sierras is a romantic dramatization based on the rugged character of California's rural past. A well-known painter of scenes from California life, Hahn's works were seen in public galleries and private parlors by elegant San Franciscans.
 
 
PAINTING LABELS
 
Ernest Narjot (1826-1898)
Narjot's Children, 1871
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center;
 
The popularity of portraits reflected California's maturing social and material culture. Cultivated gentlemen commissioned portraits of themselves and their families wearing the latest fashions to demonstrate the exemplary character and taste of those who had helped transform the state from pioneer country into "civilized" society.
 
The painter Ernest Narjot was a Frenchman who came to California seeking his fortune in the gold fields. He found more profit in art, however, and by the early 1870s was one of San Francisco's leading portrait artists. This painting of his own well-dressed children suggests that Narjot aspired to high social standing.
 
 
Edwin Deakin (1838-1923)
Donner Lake, 1869
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center;
 
Edwin Deakin (1838-1923)
High Mountain Landscape with Lake, 1871
Oil on canvas
Gift of Dr. Oscar Lemer
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-10
 
William Hahn (1829-1887)
Horses Grazing, Berkeley, California, 1875
Oil on canvas
Gift of Anthony R. White and Suzanne Crocker-White
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-23
 
 
Indian Group
 
PAINTING LABELS
 
Edwin Deakin (1838-1923)
Mountain Encampment, 1884
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mrs. Eric Gerson
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-12
 
Indian encampments were often used within landscape paintings as a way of adding scale and decorative flair to exotic wilderness settings.
 
 
Henry Raschen (1854-1937)
Indian Camp near Fort Ross, 1886
Oil on canvas
Louis Sloss Jr. Collection
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-52
 
 
Grace Carpenter Hudson (1865-1937)
Little Mendocino, 1892
Oil on canvas
Louis Sloss Jr. Collection
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center;
 
 
Grace Hudson's paintings of Indian children were enormously popular in her lifetime. Little Mendocino attracted national attention when it received an honorable mention at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. Though many of her paintings were destroyed by the earthquake and fire of 1906, Hudson remains well known as California's preeminent painter of Pomo Indian life and children in the late nineteenth century.
 
 
Grace Carpenter Hudson (1865-1937)
The Orphan, 1898
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mrs. Irving Snyder
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center LT2006-104-38
 
 
Frederick F. Schafer (1839­1927)
Indian Encampment near Mount Hood, n.d.
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-53
 
 
Beginnings of Modern California, 1890-1930
 
William Alexander Coulter (1849-1936)
San Francisco Bay to Fort Point, 1885
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center;
 
The son of an Irish coast guard captain, William Coulter immigrated to San Francisco in 1869. He worked first as a sail maker, and by 1896 joined the staff of the San Francisco Call as a marine artist, a growing field centered in the city's booming harbor. Until his death in 1936, Coulter chronicled the riggers, tugboats, and schooners that went in and out of the Golden Gate.
 
Carl Von Perbandt (1832-1911)
San Francisco Bay, 1893
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center;
 
 
MANNEQUIN LABEL # 3
 
Include image of dress
 
Woman's tea gown
1890s
Silk taffeta
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-161-117
 
Shoes
Kidskin
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-161-474 (-1 and -2)
 
 
Bohemian California
This tea gown is an example of "artistic dress," a style originally taken up by a small number of unconventional artists and intellectuals in Europe and America.
 
What made this dress so daring?
-- It did not require a corset and emphasized a woman's natural body.
-- It rejected bright chemical dyes for a softer color.
-- The hand-stitched embroidery mimicked Japanese designs.
 
Started as a rebellion, artistic dress soon became high-society style. By the 1890s, many women unlaced their corsets and put on fanciful gowns to take tea with their close friends and families.
 
 
PAINTING LABEL #3
 
Thaddeus Welch (1844-1919)
The Steep Ravine (Foothills of Tamalpais), 1899
Oil on canvas
Louis Sloss Jr. Collection
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-7
 
In San Francisco, Thaddeus Welch lived an unconventional lifestyle modeled after Parisian artists of the early nineteenth century. He settled in Marin Country in 1888, where he was "discovered" by two members of San Francisco's Bohemian Club. Welch's 1897 exhibition at the club generated a surge of interest in his work and made him one of San Francisco's more fashionable painters at the turn of the century.
 
Founded in 1872 by a group of writers, artists, and businessmen, the Bohemian Club was, by the time Welch exhibited there, a bastion for men of fashion. Today, the Bohemian Club still has an elite, male-only membership of artists, statesmen, authors, and academics.
 
 
Henry Percy Gray (1869-1952)
Wildflowers, 1916
Watercolor
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-22
 
Innovative artistic styles like impressionism flourished in California long after their heyday in France. The influence of impressionism even extended to watercolor artists such as Percy Gray, who created works that capture the hazy light and atmosphere of California's countryside.
 
Gray's use of soft line and diffused color reflects the prevailing fashion for scenes of cultivated countryside and idyllic rural life. As Californians became increasingly modern, this landscape vision evoked memories of the agrarian past.
 
 
PAINTING LABELS
 
Thomas H. Rabjohn (1852-1943)
Mountain Stream, 1902
Oil on canvas
Gift of Genelle Relfe
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-51
 
Henry Percy Gray (1869-1952)
Wildflowers, 1916
Watercolor on paper
Bequest of Lynda Bychanan
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-22
 
Henry Percy Gray (1869-1952)
Old Oak, 1920
Watercolor on board
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-21
 
John Marshall Gamble (1863-1957)
California Landscape, n.d.
Oil on canvas
Gift of Dr. Wallace E. Moore Jr.
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-16
 
Henry Percy Gray (1869-1952)
Eucalyptus # 1, 1917
Watercolor on paper
Louis Sloss Jr. Collection
California Historical Society; LT2006-104-18
 
John Marshall Gamble (1863-1957)
Autumn Wild Buckwheat-Santa Barbara, CA, n.d.
Oil on canvas
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2006-104-15
 
 
MANNEQUIN LABEL #4
 
Woman's evening dress
C. 1930
Silk and rayon taffeta
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT 2005-161-41
 
Shoes
Leather
C. 1920
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center; LT2005-161-241
 
By 1930, women had stepped off the pedestal and into the modern era as they entered universities, the workforce, and professions in record numbers. Daytime clothes became practical and tailored. Women's evening clothing, like this dress, however, took on a new theatricality and sexiness.
 
In fashion, Californians no longer looked solely to Paris to set new styles. Hollywood took center stage as celebrities influenced everything from hairstyles to dresses.
 
PAINTING LABEL #4
 
Include image of painting
 
Maynard Dixon (1875-1946)
Sunshine and Rain, 1929
Oil on canvas
Louis Sloss Jr. Collection
California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center;
 
Maynard Dixon was a successful artist and illustrator who created commercial commissions in San Francisco and Los Angeles alongside his fine art production, which tended toward Western subjects.
 
Dixon was friends with some of California's most influential tastemakers, including Will Rogers and Charles Lummis. This painting of open terrain and big sky reflects the growing vogue for all things Western in Hollywood. In terms of film, art, and fashion of the early twentieth century, many Californians like Dixon turned their attention away from Europe and back home, to the West.

 

Pending Images:

 

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