Granville Redmond

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Oil on canvas
16 x 20 inches

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Granville Richard Seymour Redmond was born in Philadelphia on March 9, 1871. At two and a half years of age, he was stricken with scarlet fever and left permanently deaf. About 1874, his family moved to San Jose, California and in 1879 he enrolled in a boarding school for the deaf at Berkeley. He studied art under painter Theophilus d'Estrella and sculptor Douglas Tilden. He furthered his studies by joining a Saturday drawing class at the California School of Design in San Francisco in 1887 and 1889. Redmond graduated a successful art student on June 1890 and the board of directors awarded him a scholarship to the California School of Design. There, he studied under Raymond Dabb Yelland, Amedee Joullin, and Arthur Matthews. He distinguished himself by winning the W.E. Brown medal of excellence.

During his third year at school, a new instructor Ernest Peixotto inspired Redmond to study painting and drawing in the midst of nature. Redmond's association with Ernest reinforced his desire to travel to Europe, which he did in November. The California School for the Deaf helped to fund his European travels and would grant him an additional year of support. While in Paris, Redmond shared quarters with his former instructor Douglas Tilden and enrolled in the Academie Julian under Jean-Paul Larens and Benjamin Constant. He spent a good portion of his time in France painting in the countryside and the following spring, his painting Matin d'Hiver was accepted in the Paris Salon. In 1897, Redmond shared quarters with a fellow classmate Gottardo Piazzoni and due to his lack of funding, was forced to barter paintings for supplies, room, and board.

He left to Los Angeles March, 1898 and opened a studio. On November 1, 1899, he married Carrie Annabel Jean, a graduate from the Illinois Institute for the Deaf, and had three children. He exhibited regularly at the San Francisco Art Association from 1898-1900 and worked as an illustrator for various periodicals and painted scenes for the Santa Fe railroads. Although Redmond was best known for his colorful impressionist oils depicting Southern California poppy fields, he personally favored the tonal landscapes set at dusk or illuminated by moonlight. As early as 1903, Redmond painted at Laguna Beach with his Los Angeles neighbors Elmer Wachtel and Norman St. Clair. All three artists exhibited paintings with Laguna Beach titles in the annual Spring Exhibition, 1904, at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art in San Francisco. By 1905, local newspapers were acknowledging Redmond as one of the leading landscape painters and a bold colorist. In 1907, he exhibited two paintings at the Hotel Del Monte gallery.

Redmond and his family spent the years of 1910-1917 in various parts of Northern California from San Mateo, Monterey County Belvedere and Tiburon. He became acquainted with neighboring artist Xavier Martinez, and through him became a friend of Jack London. His deafness did not seem to interfere with his social and professional involvement, for in San Francisco he became a member of the California Art Club, the San Francisco Art Association and the Bohemian Club, where it is said he became a friend of musician Paderewski and Buffalo Bill. He and artist Gottardo Piazzoni were lifelong friends from art school days in San Francisco and because of Piazzoni's gift as a linguist and knowledge of sign language the two got along beautifully. They roomed together in Parkfield and lived near each other in Tiburon.

In 1917, he moved to Los Angeles and met silent film actor Charlie Chaplin. Redmond received minor roles in Charlie's films such as "A Dog's Life." In between his work as an actor, Redmond had free time which he devoted to painting. He often painted and sketched in Laguna Beach and in 1918, was a charter member of the Laguna Beach Art Association. From 1918-1929, Redmond appeared in minor roles in 7 different movies. He remained in Los Angeles for the rest of his life. He died in Hollywood, on May 24, 1935.

Shortly before his death, Redmond wrote, "The highest tribute paid to an artist is the reflection of man's noblest work--to inspire." One of the foremost exponents of Impressionism in California, he is internationally known for his landscapes of rolling hills of poppies and lupines as well as coastals, moonlit scenes, and seascapes.

Member: Bohemian Club; California Art Club; Laguna Beach Art Association; San Francisco Art Association.

Exhibited: San Francisco Art Association, 1893-95; Paris Salon, France, 1895; California State Fair, 1900; Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, Missouri, 1904; Alaska-Yukon Exposition, Seattle, Washington, 1909; Del Monte Gallery, Monterey, 1911, 1913; Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, 1915; Oakland Museum, 1989.

Works held: Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley; California School for the Deaf, Fremont; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Jonathan Club, Los Angeles; Laguna Art Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland; National Center of Deafness, California State University, Northridge; Oakland Museum of California; Springville Museum of Art, Utah; Stanford University Museum.

Artists at Continent's End by Scott A. Shields
Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Milton Hughes
Impression of California: Early Currents in Art 1850-1930 by The Irvine Museum