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Artists at Continent’s End

The Monterey Peninsula Art Colony, 1875-1907

Scott A. Shields (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 357 pages
ISBN: 9780520247390
April 2006
$45.95, £34.95
Few regions rival the magnificence of California's Monterey Peninsula. This beauty, together with a mild climate, rich history, and simplicity of lifestyle, encouraged the development of one of the nation’s foremost art colonies. From 1875 to the first years of the twentieth century, artists were drawn to the towns of Monterey, Pacific Grove, and then Carmel. Artists at Continent's End is the first in-depth examination of the importance of the Monterey Peninsula, which during this period came to epitomize California art. Beautifully illustrated with a wealth of images, including many never before published, this book tells the fascinating story of eight principal protagonists—Jules Tavernier, William Keith, Charles Rollo Peters, Arthur Mathews, Evelyn McCormick, Francis McComas, Gottardo Piazzoni, and photographer Arnold Genthe—and a host of secondary players who together established an enduring artistic legacy.

Most previous accounts claim that the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire were the reason that artists began to gather on the Monterey Peninsula. Shields challenges this view by demonstrating that the colony began much earlier—and in Monterey, not Carmel, as often asserted. In an absorbing narrative that combines art and social history, Shields describes how, beginning with Jules Tavernier's arrival in 1875, art produced on the peninsula broke from its East and West Coast antecedents to become increasingly subjective, meditative, and simple. He maintains that, by the turn of the century, the majority of the artists in the region had arrived at a tonal style featuring moody atmospheric effects. Some went one step farther, producing canvases reductive in color and form; others practiced a more colorful impressionism. Created to accompany a major traveling exhibition of works of the Monterey Peninsula Art Colony, Artists at Continent's End places the movement in its art-historical context, comparing its achievement with other approaches including the Barbizon style, art nouveau, arts-and-crafts, and impressionism.

Copub: Crocker Art Museum
Introduction: A Place Where Great Souls Mingle

1. A New Eden: Jules Tavernier and the Beginning of Monterey’s Art Colony
2. Listening to the Earth: William Keith and George Inness
3. Evening Meditations: Charles Rollo Peters and the Mystery of Monterey
4. Pacific Parnassus: Arthur and Lucia Mathews’s Arcadia by the Sea
5. An Atmosphere of Nostalgia: Evelyn McCormick and the “Adobe Painters”
6. Manufacturing Dreams: Francis McComas and California “Reductivism”
7. Eternal Spirit: Gottardo Piazzoni and the Reverence for Land and Sea
8. Altars of an Undiscovered Shore: Arnold Genthe and the Colony at Carmel-by-the-Sea

Conclusion: A Fabulous Dawn Darkened

William Adam
Mary Brady
Charles Dickman
Harry Stuart Fonda
Maren Froelich
Charles Bradford Hudson
Isabel Hunter
Christian Jorgensen
Charles Chapel Judson
Bertha Stringer Lee
Xavier Martinez
Mary DeNeale Morgan
Eugen Neuhaus
Jane Gallatin Powers
Granville S. Redmond
Julian Walbridge Rix
Meyer Straus
Elizabeth Strong
Joseph Dwight Strong Jr.
Léon Trousset
Arthur Vachell
Carl von Perbandt
Theodore Wores
Sydney Jones Yard
Raymond Dabb Yelland

Selected Bibliography
Scott A. Shields is Chief Curator at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California.
“This lavishly illustrated volume and its eloquent text provide something else. . . Few accounts have emphasized the visual artists in such a comprehensive manner.”—K.D. Kurutz California History
“Shields's narrative will have many wishing for a time machine, to be transported to Carmel, Pacific Grove or Monterey during the fourth quarter of the 19th century. . . .”—History Wire
“Shields' detailed historical approach illuminates a little-known but significant segment of the state's art history and makes this one art book whose prose matches its paintings.”—Michael S. Gant Metro Newspapers
“Chronicles the development of the Monterey art colony in the kind of evocative literary style and imagery that would actually inspire students to learn.”—Lisa Crawford Watson Monterey County-Herald
"In Artists at Continent's End Scott Shields delivers an engaging and informative history of an important California art colony, augmenting the record and correcting the many myths of Monterey. An essential addition to any serious collection on American art and culture."—Charles C. Eldredge, University of Kansas

"Scott Shields introduces readers to the colorful painters of the Monterey Peninsula, basing his account on deep research into contemporaneous sources. He is particularly adept at reading the paintings through the literature of the time, which he quotes to good effect. This is the best book ever published on early California art."—Alfred C. Harrison, Jr., President of the North Point Gallery, San Francisco

"Thoroughly researched, gracefully written, luminously illustrated, this elegant book documents the Monterey Peninsula as an epicenter of American art in the late nineteenth century and fin de siècle. How fortunate that so many talented painters found their way to this beguiling place—and that Scott Shields has now so compellingly told their story."—Kevin Starr, University of Southern California

"Artists at Continent's End makes a compelling case for the emergence of the Monterey Peninsula as 'the new spiritual heart of California' as early as 1875. Shields brings the rich artistic life of the Peninsula and the myriad of resident and visiting artists and writers who found inspiration there to vibrant life."—Patricia Trenton, author of Independent Spirits: Women Painters of the American West, 1890-1945

"Scott Shields gives us a delightful picture of an enchanting place—the Monterey Peninsula—and of a group of artistic characters who settled there, the bohemians who helped to define California in our collective imagination. Full of material that is new even to specialists in American cultural history, Artists at Continent's End reminds us yet again of how narrow is our understanding still of the development of modern movements on native soil."—Patricia Junker, Curator of American Art, Seattle Art Museum

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