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Charles Arthur Fries
(1854-1940)


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Painter. Born in Hillsboro, Ohio on August 14, 1854. At age 15 Fries was apprenticed to a lithographer in Cincinnati and, while there, attended the McMicken Art Academy and studied portraiture in the studio of Charles Webber. Working from a studio in Cincinnati, he traveled and sketched in the Southwest; his lithographs appeared in Harper’s, Leslie’s, and Century magazines. After marrying in 1887, he moved his studio to New York City where he was popular as an illustrator and portraitist, while living on a farm in Vermont. In 1896 the Fries family headed west and, upon arriving in Southern California, temporarily lived in the ruins of the unrestored mission at San Juan Capistrano. Later that year, he and his family settled in San Diego where he remained. Sporting a Van Dyke beard and flowing black bow tie, he was often seen riding about San Diego on his bicycle with painting gear in his basket. Upon his death in San Diego on December 15, 1940, Fries had recorded in his journal 1700 oil paintings produced in California. He acheived great success and fame as both a well-published lithographer and painter of atmospheric desert landscapes.

Member: San Diego Art Guild; Laguna Beach Art Association; La Jolla Art Association; California Art Club; San Diego Contemporary Artists.

Exhibited: California State Fair, 1930; California-Pacific International Expo, San Diego, 1935; Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939.

Awards: silver medal, Seattle Fine Art Society, 1911; silver medal, Panama-California International Expo, San Diego, 1915.

Works held: San Diego Museum of Art; San Diego Historical Society; CGA.

Source:
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.