March 3, 2014 § 1 Comment
By JAN HOLLOWAY
I came to an art career at midlife. After raising four children, I took some art history courses and the docent training course at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It was especially fun introducing school children to the museum.
Then, my interest piqued, I set out to be a part of the commercial art world.
In 1980, I was hired by the well-established Maxwell Galleries in the heart of San Francisco’s art scene near Union Square. It was a turning point for me. Maxwell’s afforded an opportunity to become acquainted with a wide range of American and European art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was also a terrific place to learn the business of running an art gallery from Mark Hoffman, the owner of Maxwell Galleries, who was a genial gentleman and a seasoned pro.
Armed with that valuable experience and my husband Maurice’s support, I went out on my own. At first I worked as a private dealer from our home in San Francisco. Eventually I found a little storefront on Francisco Street in North Beach and opened a gallery there in 1988. Within a year or so, I had become acquainted with artists who had worked on the Coit Tower murals and began showing their work. Then more and more art of the 1930s and early 1940s came into my inventory.
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March 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
REVIEW | COLETTE TANAKA
For nearly 20 years Jan Holloway worked in the San Francisco gallery community, where she developed a niche exhibiting California artists of the early 20th century. The exhibition history of her gallery would reveal the names of prominent artists, but more important were the many exhibitions that shed light on careers forgotten or overshadowed.
Now she is sharing her personal collection in a book and exhibition called “Good Times – Hard Times,” which consists primarily of the work of the generation of artists active in San Francisco between the two world wars. This group vividly represents two significant changes in the art world, one artistic, the other social and cultural.
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March 1, 2014 § Leave a comment
AUDEL DAVIS is the first living crafter to be honored with an exhibit in the Great Hall of the Grove Park Inn. The exhibit [from February 21 to 23, 2014] is also the first one-person showing of his work in a non-commercial setting. It is entirely fitting that Audel Davis be honored in this way, and in this place. He has a long affiliation with the Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts Conference, having attended all but three of the 26 conferences. His deep commitment to the ideals of the movement, too, both aesthetically and philosophically, make this exhibit a supremely natural manifestation of the conference’s mission to educate and inspire those who revere the Arts and Crafts movement and its contemporary renaissance.
Those who know Audel personally will understand how his self-effacing nature initially rebelled against the idea of an exhibit honoring his work. A modest man of unfailing good humor and grace, Audel is not comfortable in the spotlight. But if you are also familiar with his work, which this exhibit seeks to elucidate, you will know that Audel Davis is completely deserving of the attention this exhibit brings to him.
Some years ago I was the very happy recipient of a pair of Audel’s candlesticks. They have become like members of our family, such is the warm and personal character that they express over years of closeness and familiarity, not unlike the people who are dear to me. The attributes of family and warmth are naturally a part of Audel’s work, and as you contemplate the objects in this exhibit you may also sense the traits that make his way of working copper to be so very much more than merely raised, planished, hammered and patinated sheets of metal.
— TED BOSLEY, Director
The Gamble House
Foreword to Audel Davis Coppersmith
Copyright 2014 by Roger Moss
Read more: “A coppersmith of skill and maturity“
March 1, 2014 § Leave a comment
MOST RENOVATIONS and facelifts aim to make things look a little younger and fresher. But that was not the case with the work just completed at the historic Swedenborgian Church at Washington and Lyon streets in San Francisco.
On February 16, the congregants entered through the garden and past a crackling fire in the massive fireplace, just as they always have, as they returned to their sanctuary after the first major renovation in the church’s 119-year history.“It’s so toasty in here,” said office manager Dana Owens, who supervised the project. The fireplace was the primary source of heat until radiant heating was added during the renovation underneath the refinished wooden floorboards. Discreet lighting was tucked into the madrone trees and rafters that support the roof. The stained glass windows were restored and the thick, rounded wooden doors were refinished.
The Swedenborgian Church, built in 1894, is the birthplace of the Arts & Crafts movement in the United States. Its simple handmade maple chairs with tule rush seats were the inspiration for all Mission-style furniture that followed.
On March 16, the Swedenborgians will launch a monthly lecture series on the art and architecture of the unusual church, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Read more: “Arts & Crafts movement started here“
February 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
“HE NEVER WENT TO COLLEGE, yet Timothy Pfleuger became one of the San Francisco’s best-known architects of his era,” says Therese Poletti, Pfleuger’s biographer. “His work is stunning and original. He did not resort to the oft-used motifs of the Jazz Age and Moderne period. Instead, he found his own inspirations — often influences that tied back to the city of San Francisco, such as the Asian figures in the canopy ceiling of the Castro Theatre. Pflueger said he got the idea for them when he was walking around Chinatown.”
“He also brought artists into almost all of his projects, starting very early on in his career. Thanks to Pflueger, who first hired Diego Rivera to paint a mural in the San Francisco Stock Exchange Luncheon Club (now the City Club), San Francisco has three murals by Rivera, two of which can be seen by the public.”
February 10, 2014 § Leave a comment
BEFORE HE TURNED his attention to photography, John Louis Field was a noted San Francisco architect and also a filmmaker. Two of his architectural documentaries exploring cities and what makes them successful places were broadcast nationwide on public television.
In “The Urban Preserve,” from 1976, Field weaves a rich visual tapestry of vibrant urban places, most in Italy, some in the U.S. As both filmmaker and polemicist, he has a point of view. “Cities are alive,” he argues. “They can flourish and grow, or they can shrink and even die. But while they live, they constantly change.”
He presents especially beautiful images of the Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (above) and Orvieto Cathedral (below) before concluding: “It is essential to preserve a city’s life that we save the great monuments, and that we still allow for contemporary expression — because together, they are the accumulation of history that is a part of our root and one of our ways of sensing who we are.”
February 9, 2014 § Leave a comment
IN CREATING THE MAGNIFICENT Duomo in Florence, a hot-tempered goldsmith named Filippo Brunelleschi had to contend with highly placed adversaries, led by the scheming Lorenzo Ghiberti. Brunelleschi was the project’s conceptual and operational leader from the start, yet he and Ghiberti received the same yearly wage of 36 florins.
Brunelleschi’s biographers tell an amusing tale about how he finally outmaneuvered Ghiberti. In the summer of 1423, just before a wooden tension ring was to be laid around the dome, Brunelleschi suddenly took to his bed, complaining of severe pains in his side. When the baffled carpenters and masons asked how they were to position the enormous chestnut beams that made up the ring, he essentially delegated the task to his rival. Ghiberti had installed only some of the beams when Brunelleschi, miraculously on the mend, returned to the work site and pronounced Ghiberti’s work so incompetent that it would have to be torn out and replaced.
Brunelleschi directed these repairs himself, complaining all the while to the overseers that his co-superintendent was earning a salary he didn’t deserve. Though this account may be tinged by hero worship, archival records at year’s end do name Brunelleschi the sole “inventor and director of the cupola,” and later his salary rose to a hundred florins a year, while Ghiberti continued at 36 florins.
Read more in National Geographic