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Ransom Holdredge
(1836-1899)


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"The Wine Festival"
1876
Oil on canvas
14 3/4 x 26 inches

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A landscape painter born in New York City in 1836, Holdredge came to California in the late 1850s and worked as a draftsman at the Mare Island Naval Yard. His paintings of the 1860s and early 1870s were signed "Holdridge" and were done in the realistic style of the Hudson River School. During this period he maintained a studio in San Franciscoís Donahoe-Kelly Bank Building on the corner of Sacramento and Montgomery, and exhibited locally. In 1874 he and Hiram Bloomer held a joint sale of their paintings to finance European studies. He left in that year and spent about two years studying in France. (Some sources state that he worked as a field artist for Scribnerís publications and was with Major Renoís troops at the time of the Custer massacre in 1876; however, this has not been sustained.)

After his studies in France, he returned to San Francisco with a distinctly different style. Paintings done after that time show the influence of the Barbizon School and were signed "Holdredge." His works were in great demand during his lifetime, received rave reviews by the local press, and were often considered superior to those done by Keith. Holdredge traveled extensively throughout the Northwest, often living for long periods of time among the various Indian tribes. Due to malnutrition and alcoholism, he died at the Alameda County Infirmary in April 1899.

Member: San Francisco Artist Association (cofounder); Bohemian Club.

Works held: Oakland Museum; Crocker Museum, Sacramento; Society of California Pioneers; Bohemian Club; Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley; Sierra Nevada Museum, Reno.

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