Victor Arnautoff “The Felt Hat” Oil on Canvas c. 1930
VICTOR ARNAUTOFF (1896-1979) USA
The Felt Hat c. 1930
Oil on canvas, white gold frame
Signed: V. Arnautoff, lower right
Exhibited: Art Center San Francisco, 1931 (see image of the review in the San Francisco Examiner, July 12th, 1931)
For more information see: The New Deal for Artists, Richard D. McKinzie (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1973), Coit Tower, San Francisco : Its History and Art
Painting: H: 26” x W: 21”
Framed: H: 32 ½” x 27 ½”
Victor Arnautoff created paintings and watercolors, focusing on portraits, still lifes and rural landscapes in his early years, and moved to more socially conscious themes later in his career. Arnautoff was a native of Russia, to which he returned during the 1960s after thirty years in the United States. He came to San Francisco from Russia via China, bringing his wife and children with him, and studied at the California School of Fine Arts studying with Ralph Stackpole and Edgar Walter before going to Mexico. There he worked as an assistant to the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. During the 1930s, Arnautoff worked as project director and one of the artists selected to create the famed Coit Tower murals, he played a key role in determining the political and social content of the frescoes painted in the San Francisco landmark. His own contribution, City Life, appears to be a lively, non-political melding of downtown San Francisco scenes; however, closer study reveals two leftist newspapers on the newsstand, while the city’s most mainstream daily, the San Francisco Chronicle, is strangely missing. Arnautoff also painted frescoes in the Military Chapel at San Francisco’s Presidio, in the Anne Bremer Library of the San Francisco Art Institute, and in high schools and other buildings in the Bay Area. He was a professor of art at Stanford University from 1939 until his retirement in 1963.
GERTRUDE BURGESS MURPHY (b. 1899) USA
Reclining nude sculpture c. 1950
Fired and glazed earthenware on a wooden base
Marks: original paper exhibition label (San Francisco Museum of Art, Rental Gallery); tape with the name of the artist
For more information on Murphy see: Who Was Who in American Art, ed. Peter Hastings Falk (Madison, Conn.: Sound View Press, 1985), p. 439.
H: 5 7/8” x L: 10 5/8” x D: 5”
JAN ET JOËL MARTEL (1896-1966) France
Pair of courting Faintail Pigeon Sculptures c.1925-30
Black glazed earthenware with silver / platinum decorative dot motif.
Marks: PRIMAVERA FRANCE, 12684
For related model: The Art Deco Style in Household Objects, Architecture, Scupture, Graphics, Jewelry, Theodore Menten (New York: Dover, 1972), p. 179.
For more information see: Joël et Jan Martel: sculpteurs 1896-1966, Christophe Vital, et al. (Paris: Gallimard / Electa, 1996), pp. 127-9
H: 8 1/16” x L: 9” x D at tail: 5 1/4”
H: 7 1/8” x L: 10” x D at tail: 5 1/4”
Jan & Joël Martel (the Martel Brothers/Twins, born in Nantes on 5 April 1896, both died in 1966)
The twin Martel sculptors were among the founding members of Union des Artistes Modernes, and their original works include ornamental sculptures, statues, monuments and fountains displaying characteristics typical of the Art Déco and Cubist periods. The brothers took part in a number of Paris exhibitions including the Salon des Indépendants, Salon d'Automne, Salon des Tuileries and the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in 1925. In 1932, they created the Claude Debussy monument which sits on the boulevard Lannes in Paris. Between 1924-1926, Robert Mallet-Stevens designed a studio for the Martel twins at 10 Rue Mallet-Stevens in Paris' 16th Arrondissement.