August 3, 2010


Uniquely situated in a spectacular setting on the Pacific Ocean near the Del Monte Forest, Carmel-by-the-Sea has been a gathering spot for talented visual artists for well over a hundred years. The natural scenic beauty of the area has attracted and inspired dozens of notable Early California painters including Armin Hansen (1886 – 1957), William Ritschel (1864 – 1949), Percy Gray, and Francis McComas (1875 – 1938).

A recent exhibition at the Monterey Museum of Art, “Artists at Continent’s End: The Monterey Peninsula Art Colony, 1875-1907” clearly confirmed that the natural beauty, the rich history, and mild climate have drawn talented artists to Carmel/Monterey area since the late 19th century. Organized by the Crocker Museum in Sacramento, the display included the quiet tonalist nocturnes of Early California artist Charles Rollo Peters (1862 – 1928), who lived in the area of Monterey known as Peter’s Gate.

Other artists active in the late 19th century represented in the exhibition included Jules Tavernier (1844 – 1889), noted for his quiet scenes featuring California’s unique Redwood trees, and Chris Jorgensen (1860 – 1935). Jorgensen, often remembered for his highly detailed coastal scenes featuring the Monterey area’s famous Cypress Trees, built a boulder home in Carmel in 1905 which later became the La Playa Hotel.The city of Carmel-by-the-Sea was founded in 1902, and incorporated in 1916. In 1905, the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club was formed to support the local artistic community. In 1906, following the San Francisco earthquake, a large number of talented artists moved to the Carmel area. The Carmel Arts and Crafts Club held frequent exhibitions of works by local artists and, in 1913, began providing lessons for aspiring painters. Distinguished artists William Merritt Chase, Xavier Martinez, and Mary DeNeale Morgan all taught six week classes arranged

by the Club for $15 in those early days.In 1907, artists William Keith, Xavier Martinez, Karl Neuhaus, and Will Sparks founded the Del Monte Art Gallery, now the Herrmann Hall at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. This was one of the very first galleries focused specifically on work by California artists.

In 1923, the distinguished tonalist painter Percy Gray (1869 – 1952) moved to Monterey. His remarkable, quiet, introspective watercolor paintings are cherished by collectors today for their ability to capture the mysterious, misty qualities of the local landscape.


“Northern California Landscape with Oaks”In 1927, The Carmel Art Association was formed, founded by artists Josephine Culbertson and Ida Johnson. Early members of the group included Paul Dougherty and E. Charlton Fortune. Their mission statement explains that “the Association exists to provide its members with a permanent art gallery, to advance knowledge of, and interest in the arts, and to create a spirit of cooperation and fellowship among artists and the community”. The association is the second oldest operating non-profit artist cooperative in the United States, after a group in Rockport, Massachusetts, and to this day, member artists are always selected by their peers.Fine examples of the rich artistic history of the Carmel/Monterey area can be found in museums throughout California and the United States. Important paintings by artists including a large selection of works by Impressionist E. Charlton Fortune are currently on view at the Monterey Museum of Art in the exhibition “Land and Sea: Paintings and Photographs of Monterey and Beyond”.

The exhibition continues through October 24, 2010.

For additional information regarding the available paintings featured in this post, please call William A. Karges Fine Art at (800) 833-9185 in Carmel, or (800) 884-4022 in Beverly Hills, or visit our website at


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