Editor's note: The following texts were reprinted in Resource Library on March 16, 2016 with permission of the author. If you have questions or comments regarding the text and images, please contact Dr. Edwards at edwardsrwe@sbcglobal.net


Jennie V. Cannon: The Untold History of the Carmel and Berkeley Art Colonies, vol. one, East Bay Heritage Project, Oakland, 2012

by Robert W. Edwards


Introduction to Online Presentation

The diaries, notebooks, letters and publications of Jennie Vennerström Cannon (1869-1952), an extraordinary woman and an exceptional painter of the American West, offer first-hand narratives on two of the most important art colonies in California, Carmel and Berkeley. Her extensive commentaries provide a basic framework for the comprehensive assessment of both communities by Robert Edwards.

Dr Edwards' Preface explains the genesis of the volume and the Introduction provides definitions for frequently used terms.

Chapters One and Two trace Cannon's meteoric rise from the poverty of rural Minnesota to Stanford University, where she was the first student to earn a Master's Degree from the Art Department, and to New York City, where she had advanced studies with William Merritt Chase. By 1905 she was dividing her year between the Monterey Peninsula in the spring and summer and Tucson in the fall and winter. She witnessed the birth and development of the Carmel art colony and befriended many of its preeminent artists, including Armin Hansen, E. Charlton Fortune, Guy Rose, Jessie Arms Botke, Francis McComas, Joseph Mora, Anne M. Bremer, August Gay, Will Sparks, William Ritschel, Gunnar M. Widforss, Mary DeNeale Morgan, and William Posey Silva.

Chapter Three assesses of the development of the Berkeley art colony after the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the founding of the Berkeley Art Association a year later, and the "politics" of the competing salons. Cannon moved her Tucson home to Berkeley where she reported weekly in the press on the activities of the Bay Area art community, providing intimate details on such reclusive and flamboyant artists as: William Keith, Edwin Deakin, Henry Joseph Breuer, Gene Kloss, Xavier T. Martinez, William S. Rice, James Blanding Sloan, Arthur Putnam, Pedro Joseph de Lemos, Clayton Sumner Price, and Elizabeth Strong.

Chapter Four summarizes her studies in 1911 at the London School of Art with Frank Brangwyn, her travels through Europe and North Africa, and her rise to prominence in Carmel.

In Chapter Five she persuades William Merritt Chase to teach his final summer course at the Carmel colony in 1914. Cannon provides an account of his classes, his psychological decline, the many social events, and the brutal murder of one of his students, which created near hysteria in the colony.

Chapter Six recounts her own painful divorce, her brief return to New York City to join the radical People's Art Guild, and her determination to support her two sons solely with the earnings from her own salon-gallery in Berkeley, where she was instrumental in reviving the colony with a new League of Fine Arts in 1923. Her incessant and very public campaigns on behalf of women's equality in the arts compelled many museums, galleries, and art clubs to guarantee equal representation on juries and in exhibitions.

Chapter Seven details the rise of Carmel as the largest art community on the Pacific and the problematic creation of the Carmel Art Association in 1927.

The first six appendices provide catalogues of the exhibitions and exhibitors, as well as an evaluation of select works of art. The final appendix, the largest unit in the volume, contains the detailed biographies of 242 exhibiting artists. These narratives are compiled from sources contemporary with each artist and have copious endnotes and cross-references to events throughout the text.


Table of Contents - Volume 1

(page numbers refer to the pages in the paper-printed book)

Title pages 1

Preface 5


Chronology for Jennie V. Cannon11

List of Carmel and Berkeley Artists with Biographies13

Abbreviations and Selected Bibliography19

Introduction 27

Chapter One - The Formative Years: Minnesota (1869-96) 32

Chapter Two -Western Frontiers: Birth of the Carmel Art Colony (1896-1909) 39

Chapter Three - Sanctuary: Berkeley's First Art Colony (1906-11) 72

Chapter Four - Artist versus Wife: Europe, Tucson and Carmel (1910-13) 106

Chapter Five - The Turning Point: William Merritt Chase and Carmel (1914) 132

Chapter Six - From Palo Alto to Berkeley: Divorce and Recovery (1915-23) 156

Chapter Seven - Carmel's New Identity: the Peninsula's Art Colony (1915-33) 177


Appendix 1 - Members and Exhibitors of Berkeley's First Art Colony (1906-11) 246

Appendix 2 - Exhibitors of the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club (1906-24) 254

Appendix 3 - Enrollment List: Chase Summer School of Art in Carmel (1914) 260

Appendix 4 - Exhibitors of the Carmel Art Association (1927-33) 262

Appendix 5 - List of Public Exhibitions and Lectures by Jennie V. Cannon 267

Appendix 6 - List and Explanation of Plates 290

Appendix 7 - Biographies of Carmel and Berkeley Artists 305

Index 688

Plates (not included in online presentation)


Biography of Robert W. Edwards

Robert W. Edwards (1949 - ), a California native and Vietnam-era veteran, completed his M.A. in Classics and Ancient History at San Francisco State University in 1978 and his PhD. in Art History and Archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983. That year he relocated to Washington, D.C., where he was elected a Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University's Center for Byzantine Studies. Two years later Edwards was appointed an Associate Scholar by the Center's Trustees. He has been a Visiting Professor in the History Department of the Catholic University of America and in the Department of Art at the University of Chicago.

He has authored dozens of publications, including the monographs: The Fortifications of Armenian Cilicia (Washington, D.C. 1987); Jennie V. Cannon: The Untold History of the Carmel and Berkeley Art Colonies, volume one (Oakland 2012); and Pedro de Lemos - Lasting Impressions: Works on Paper, 1910-1945 (Worcester, Mass. 2015). He was a frequent contributor to the Dumbarton Oaks Papers and to the Paris-based Revue des Études Arméniennes. Institutions that have funded his travel, research, and publications include the: J. Paul Getty Trust; British Institute of Archaeology in Ankara; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Université Catholique de Louvain; Trustees for Harvard University; and Università di Bologna. In 2002 he retired from active field work in Turkey and turned his attention exclusively to the study of the art colonies in northern California.

He has lectured extensively on the art and architecture of medieval Anatolia and during the last decade on the artists of the Monterey Peninsula and the San Francisco Bay Area. His venues include the: American Oriental Society (San Francisco 1980); Byzantine Studies Conferences (Chicago 1982, Cincinnati 1984, and Toronto 1985); Corso di Cultura sull' Arte Ravennate e Bizantina (Ravenna 1985); International Byzantine Congress (Washington, D.C. 1986); Quinto Simposio Internazionale di Arte Armena (Venice 1988); Centennial of the California College of the Arts (Oakland 2007); Harrison Memorial Library Lecture (Carmel 2014); and Curatorial Lecture for the Monterey Museum of Art (Monterey 2015).

He is the co-curator for the exhibition Lasting Impressions - Pedro de Lemos at the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, California (April - September 2015) and at the Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford University, Palo Alto (September - December 2017).

Resource Library editor's note

Readers who wish to see the color illustrations in the printed book may locate them in library "hard copies" which they can locate in OCLC/worldcat.

The copyright to all sections of the book republished online in Resource Library is held by Robert W. Edwards. Please also see the title pages for copyright information.

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