Saturday 25 February 2012: Cabbage Farming
This mural is one of a series of four in our downtown post office, painted in 1937 by Henrietta Shore (1880-1963). I didn't know anything about her until today when I googled the murals, and found some interesting connections with several well-known artists. Just one more instance of enrichment via blipping--it's fun and an educational experience!
A painter of stylized human figures and still lifes, notably close-ups of seashells, she became known for Abstract Realism. She was one of the founding members of the New York Society of Women Artists and was also a pioneer of West Coast modernist art. Shore's ability to magnify common objects led to comparisons between her work and botanical studies of Georgia O'Keeffe.
Shore was born in Toronto, Canada, and took her art training at The Art Students League in New York City. She stayed in New York for many years and then attended London's Heatherly Art School.
In 1913, she went to Los Angeles and helped establish the Los Angeles Society of Modern Artists. She won a silver medal at the 1915 Pan-American Exposition in San Diego, and three years later, she and Helena Dunlap had a two-woman exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum.
She returned to New York City and in 1921 took United States citizenship. Her artistic reputation increased and in the late 1920s, she had a retrospective of her work at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts and got favorable reviews.
In 1924, she was among twenty-five women chosen to represent American women in Paris and that year also traveled to Mexico where she did portraits of artists Jose Orozco and Jean Charlot.
Three years later, she returned to California where she became a close companion to photographer Edward Weston, who did a series of photographs based on her perceptions of nature. In 1936, she worked for the Treasury Relief Art Project doing murals near Carmel and Monterey, one of them installed at the Monterey post office and another at the post office in Santa Cruz.
She fell from national recognition in the '40s. Shore left Carmel in 1958 and died penniless in San Jose May 17, 1963.