During the three generations since the California Argonauts who struck it rich had become its most lavish patrons of the fine arts, San Francisco is reputed to have foster-mothered more than twelve hundred artists, most of the first generation being of European birth and training. Her first gilded nabobs, with callouses still on their palms, went in for social climbing and gaudy culture.
They crowned Nob Hill with gimcrack palaces and, having been told that art galleries were the thing, “blew themselves” without stint on marble statuary and very large paintings-- panoramic and grandiose. Art was what they yearned for and they proceeded, as one of them put it, “to exhaust its possibilities”; vastly to the profit of the group of earthly academic painters of brilliant yardage who painted Yosemite or the California hinterland or Roman mythology in a big way. Non-conformists, progressives, impressionists or romanticists-- few of the next generation of painters would qualify as radicals in their day.
Of those San Franciscans, who form the link in time and in art between the orthodox old-timers and the young third generation of followers of sundry “modernist” movements, there is at least one painter who, like all progressive, self-taught creative workers, has too much of the unique and solitary in his character to be easily classified. That one is Maynard Dixon, painter of the primitive Far West.
Join us Saturday, October 20th, for a special trip to the Maynard Dixon living history museum just north of Mt. Carmel Junction. Space is limited on tour!