The Peninsula Museum of Art is pleased to present a guest exhibition of the California Art Club’s (CAC) San Francisco Chapter. The theme is “Art Between the Lines.” This exhibition will highlight the 'Best of San Francisco' and shown in PMA's two largest gallery spaces. Plein air or studio paintings were selected from the chapter's 300 members and juried by the CAC.
The California Art Club was established in 1909 by the early California Impressionists (aka Plein Air Painters,) and was developed from the Painter’s Club of Los Angeles, which was founded in 1906 as an informal group of male artists. A main objective in forming the California Art Club was to allow women artists to participate in group exhibitions and fellowship.
Founders of the CAC included Franz Bischoff (1864-1929), Carl Oscar Borg (1879-1947), Hanson Puthuff (1875-1972) and William Wendt (1865-1946), whose wife Julia Bracken Wendt (1871-1942) was a sculptor of high merit. Under the leadership of William Wendt, who served as president for six years, the California Art Club quickly became a powerful and prestigious institution that was recognized as a cultural authority on the West Coast. The Club’s membership included such luminaries as Edgar Payne (1883-1947), Granville Redmond (1871-1935), Guy Rose (1867-1925), Jack Wilkinson Smith (1873-1949) and Marion Wachtel (1876-1954).
In 1993 artist Peter Adams was asked by Patron member Verna Gunther to help revive the California Art Club. Together with his wife, Elaine Adams, their vision to restore “traditional” art to a high standard was realized. California Art Club president Peter Adams states, “A major tenet of the California Art Club is to look to our heritage for inspiration and guidance brought through the knowledge of artistic techniques nearly forgotten. The intention of the California Art Club is to encourage the education and continuation of fine traditional art. Adams continues, “Traditional art is now the new avant-garde.”
by Nancy Crookston