American Art Colonies, 1850-1930: A Historical Guide to America's Original Art Colonies and Their Artists

By Steve Shipp | Go to book overview

Chapter 13
Santa Barbara Art Colony

The light [in Santa Barbara] has a strange, vibrating brightness, and when the morning fog lifts, the greenery, the horizon and the golden ridges against the blue sky stand out in sharp and brilliant relief.

Allan Rabinowitz

Santa Barbara is so entirely delightful that any word of adverse criticism seems absurd and ungrateful.

Charles S. Brooks

Santa Barbara, a pleasant seaside community on the California coast north of Los Angeles, became a popular place for artists to live and work around the turn of the century. The artistic environment further enhanced its significance as an upscale coastal resort. Most artists were inspired by the broad and white sandy beaches, the old Spanish architecture, and the surrounding mountains.

Some of the artists, such as * Carl Oscar Borg, were based in Los Angeles but spent much of their time sketching and painting in Santa Barbara. Others came from San Diego or San Francisco, or were associated with the art colonies of Carmel-Monterey and Laguna Beach. Still others, such as * Clarence Hinkle, painted and taught for many years in Los Angeles and then retired to Santa Barbara to devote their to painting and accepting a few private students. Other late- comers were *Adele and * Albert Herter, were prominent in the East Hampton art colony before settling in Santa Barbara in the late teens.

One of Santa Barbara's most influential artists was * John Marshall Gamble, a specialist in paintings of wildflowers who became a color adviser on new construction in Santa Barbara for the rebuilding of the town following its disastrous earthquake in June 1925. Other artists who worked at Santa Barbara, at least

-93-

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