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.
OTIS OLDFIELD (1890-1969) USA
“Water pipes and shadows” c. 1920
Oil on canvas, walnut frame
Signed: Otis Oldfield (lower left)
For more information see: Otis Oldfield 1890-1990, Centennial retrospective exhibition (San Francisco, CA: Inkwell Publishing, 1990).
Painting: H: 16 1/8” x W: 13”
Framed: H: 28 ¼” x W: 25 1/8”
***The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York owns a famous Gelatin silver print photograph by Morton Schamberg from 1916 entitled “God”. This image is akin to Duchamp’s “Fountain” and is an iconic Dadaist assemblage of plumbing pipes mounted on a miter box. The “Water Pipes and Shadows” painting by Otis Oldfield similarly brings a certain animation and personality to an under sink composition of mundane drain pipes in a sophisticated “Rayonist” or “Cubist” stylization. Otis Oldfield was born in Sacramento, California in 1890. He enrolled in the Best Art School in San Francisco in 1909 and continued his studies at the Academie Julian in Paris. Returning to the U.S., Oldfield settled briefly Sacramento before returning to San Francisco to accept a post as a teacher at the California School of Fine Art. Oldfield developed a bold modernist style, which caused some controversy among critics covering his exhibits. In 1936 Oldfield was one of a group of San Francisco artists chosen for a WPA project to paint murals in San Francisco’s Coit Tower. Following WW II, Oldfield taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. He died in San Francisco in 1969.
HULDA ROTIER FISCHER (1893 – 1982) Milwaukee, WI
Three-resting giraffes sculpture 1936
Handbuilt earthenware sculpture with a golden light brown glaze.
Marks: Hulda Rotier Fischer 36 (hand incised)
H: 6 1/2″ x W: 7″ x D: 5 1/2″
Hulda Rotier Fisched studied at the Milwaukee Normal School and was a student of Robert von Neumann Sr. In 1921 she also studied with Carl Holty. She worked as an Art Instructor at Shorewood Opportunity School for 30 years. Rotier Fischer was a Member of the Milwaukee Art institute.
She is the recipient of many Milwaukeee Journal Awards.