. . . Through conversation and correspondence, the extended Klauber family has provided the basic data and insight into the life of one of early San Diego’s fascinating cultural activists, Alice Klauber, or affectionately called “Auntie Allie” by family members. On the other hand, a colleague felt that in her presence, it only seemed proper to call her Miss Klauber. Several of the family members are no longer with us but their contributions garnered through personal acquaintance most certainly are recognized gratefully. Among them were Mrs. Laurence ‘Grace’ Klauber, a sister-in-law, Mrs. George ‘Alice’ Heyneman, a niece, and especially Mrs. Paul ‘Amy Jo’ Wormser, a niece. Information, on-going interest, and photographs provided by Mrs. David ‘Alice’ Miller, a niece, have been most helpful in visualizing and personalizing her aunt’s life. Philip ‘Phil’ Klauber, a nephew, was responsible for encouraging further development of notes of a paper presented to the Wednesday Club of San Diego in 1984, the bases for this manuscript. His continued commentary and annotation has added much to the veracity of the content. He graciously organized the original notes and reproduced a number of printed copies that he submitted to family and friends. The comments, annotations and encouragement from those who read it and responded have been appreciated. Loyal friends such as art educator, painter and administrator, Everett Gee Jackson and his wife Eileen, for many years social commentator of San Diego, who knew Miss Klauber socially and through her involvement in Museum activities, were devoted to her. Everett, one who felt it was rather natural to refer to her as Miss Klauber, was a colleague on many art committees with her over the course of the years. Jackson sensed no pretensions about her. Among her closest friends Mrs. Ira ‘Margaret’ Robbins was a fellow painter, sometimes chauffer and a trusted confident. Miss Klauber had entrusted her with some of her notes and sketchpads. While they, too, are no longer with us I had the privilege of their friendship and sharing vivid reminiscences of Miss Klauber. Everett recalled her sense of humor, adding that “she could even enjoy a little gossip and risqué jokes at times.” Senior members, over the years, of the long standing Asian Arts Committee of the San Diego Museum of Art including her sister Leda and colleague Miss Elsie Kimberly, must also be mentioned for sharing with me their reminiscences of Alice Klauber one of the founders of the committee.

. . . Alfred Bedenberg, a freelance writer residing in Cornwall, Connecticut, was kind enough to provided details about the friendship of Natalie Curtis Burlin, an aunt of his wife, and Miss Klauber. He is currently engaged in writing a biography of Curtis. Bennard B. Perlman a specialist on Henri and his circle must also be credited for his contributions and suggestions. Raymond Pach, son of Walter Pach, was kind enough to send me information relative to his family. Mrs. Janet J. Le Clair, niece of Henri, was kind enough to help identify the folio of Louis Gill’s photographic illustrations of Henri’s La Jolla paintings by checking the artist’s comprehensive journals. The staffs of the archives of the San Diego Historical Society and the San Diego Museum of Art that were indispensable sources for original information are gratefully acknowledged with special thanks, especially Nancy Emerson. The archival facilities of the San Diego Public Library, including the California Room and Wangenheim Room, are also recommended references as well as the files of the La Jolla Art Association. Local art dealer and long time specialist in early California art, Anne Boyce-Kesler has been helpful in locating works of art by Miss Klauber. There are many other San Diegans who respectfully commented about her in passing and recommending additional contacts including Dr. Charlotte Braun-White, Mrs. May Barker, Professor Terry Whitcomb, Mrs. Murray ‘Virginia’ Smith, and Stan Sowinski, San Diego artist. Among readers of this manuscript to offer helpful suggestions and encouragement I especially want to recognize former Museum Director, the late Warren and Eleanor Beach, Jim Milch, collector of early works by early San Diego artists, Dennis Paul Batt, and Mrs. Bergit Ross, a long-time resident of San Diego. The many quotes in the text that have no end note references are to be found in the many loose sheets of notes, journals and letters scattered among friends and relatives that are undated and in some cases unidentified.

. . . One final thought, psychology, a study of human behavior, defines ‘personality’ as a quality that distinguishes one individual from another and offers uniqueness generally recognizable. Individual assessments, however, may vary from person to person. Different associates may perceive nuances of a personality that escape others. We all see people differently as personal experience proves in conversation and research with those who knew Miss Klauber and remembered. Psychiatry, a study of the thought processes and mental activity of the brain, offers an exclusive world only accessible to the possessor of that mind and brain. Any conclusion drawn in the Interpretation of mental activity in ‘knowing’ what a person is thinking or what their motives might have been may be totally conjectural. Miss Klauber’s thoughts, quickly jotted notes on scraps of paper at hand, are revealing in small measure, however, incomplete as they may seem. It is difficult to offer an accurate portrait of her as a thinker and as a scholar to the satisfaction of all readers. She is remembered not only as a lover of art, but also a catalyst in her efforts to foster a cultural life in a growing San Diego. A total picture of this fascinating personality remains to be discovered. Uncovered facts, however, would be merely recorded words, and words are often inadequate. Perhaps she said it best when she noted in 1928 in an unpublished poem entitled Words, “The perfect word is never heard.”

Martin E. Petersen



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