. . . The Women’s Headquarters was planned and furnished by the Women’s Official Exposition Board. As Chairperson of the Women’s Committee and designer of salons, Miss Klauber’s committee included cultural activists Mrs. Ivar Lawson, Mrs. Frank Belcher, Miss Gertrude Gilbert, Mrs. George McKenzie and Miss Alice Lee. A native of Massachusetts, Miss Lee had settled in San Diego in 1902. She was a cousin of Theodore Roosevelt’s first wife and a delegate to the Chicago Convention to nominate Roosevelt for President on the Progressive Party ticket. When the former President visited San Diego he was usually a guest at her home. Roosevelt was among the dignitaries in San Diego in 1915 to visit the Exposition. He rode in the first automobile to drive across the Cabrillo Bridge. One of the spaces designed by Miss Klauber was an area described as artificially lighted and not previously used in the Women’s Headquarters of the California Building. For opening festivities she and her committee planned a temporary exhibition by Donald Beauregard, an artist associated with the Archaeological Expeditions of the University of Utah and the School of American Archaeology in Arizona and New Mexico during the summer of 1909 and 1910. One woman’s opinion about the display, recalled Miss Klauber, was that “new art is a demonstration of license and not liberty.” 35 It is difficult to please everyone. The artist was acquainted with Hewett and Klauber through his activities with the Archaeological association. Unfortunately, he died a month before the Exposition opened, not yet thirty years old.

. . . The Panama- California Exposition of 1915-1916, with its ornately designed buildings, focused community attention on a more sophisticated Mediterranean Renaissance Architectural revival, stylistically, and added a romantic flair to the Park’s architectural wonders capturing the splendid Spanish legacy in southern California history. It was to influence San Diego architecture through the first half of the twentieth century replacing the innovative and austere character of Gill’s style. Recognizing the fact that the grounds were merely a fairyland setting, Goodhue had proceeded to design it with the stipulation that it would be razed within two years after the Exposition. 36 Time and the community had other plans.

. . . During the era of the landmark New York Armory Show of 1913, Henri’s appearance in San Diego in 1914 occurred with the planning of the Panama-California Exposition whether by plan or by coincidence. An American painting exhibition featuring the work of American artist, Robert Henri, 1865-1929, and his circle generated as much media attention as the architectural marvels on the fair grounds. A majority of the artists, the artists of the revolutionary Ash Can Group, exhibited as a group only one time at the MacBeth Gallery in New York City in 1908. 37 Some art historians consider its members the first moderns in American art history. 38 Their show caused a sensation throughout the national art world before the famous Armory Show of 1913 that shocked the country with its introduction of Modern European art movements at the beginning of the twentieth century.

. . . Dr. Hewett ostensibly had planned the art exhibition. Credit more likely should be given to Archaeology Society patron Alice Klauber and Henri in collaboration with Hewett. Alice Klauber invited Henri to visit San Diego as early as 1912. The artist finally agreed to visit in 1914, after a severe winter in the East. He was, “Looking forward to California as a place where the sun will warm me up to the right heat of production. Where I can luxuriate in work, sunshine, fruit, flowers, good food, not have to dress, not entertain or be entertained, nothing but work and sun and the afore said. It’s on somewhat better information, yours and one or two others”, probably Los Angeles painters Meta, b.1883, and Bert Cressey, b.1883, residents of Hollywood, educated in Los Angeles and New York, and who had been with Henri in Spain, “that I am now convinced that San Diego is one of the most interesting and beautiful places in the world and we shall head that way and will not be convinced otherwise…” On May 25, 1914, the artist wrote to Miss Klauber: “The date of starting is almost fixed for June 6. I expect to be off within a day or two of the 6th if not the 6th. We have been delayed by matters of state that could not be avoided. Anxious to get to California.” As a postscript to the letter and their mutual trip to Spain, he added: “You will be interested to know that the Metropolitan Museum has acquired the gipsy (sic) woman - I think the one you liked best of those done on our Spanish trip. H.”

. . . An earlier letter dated April acknowledged his ‘retirement’ as a teacher and he hoped he would have no class work scheduled here. Apparently, his retirement was short lived. He was listed as an instructor of composition on the roster of the Art Students League in 1917. 39 Klauber made all arrangements for the artist’s visit. Henri’s presence in California marked the introduction of contemporary American art making its first appreciable appearance on the West Coast. It was coincidental that this visit concurred with the organization of the Exposition. 40

. . . The artist must have changed his departure date for by June 3rd he was in Los Angeles. The family stayed several days before continuing to San Diego. Henri registered at the U.S. Grant Hotel June 16, 1914, notifying Miss Klauber by night letter of their arrival. Henri informed her that he preferred the suburbs to Center City, the availability of models, “interesting models,” to use as subjects was to be the determining factor and first consideration for contracting a residence.

Henri with Marjorie ‘O’ and her sister, Violet in La Jolla.

Unknown photographer, Marjorie with dog in patio of Richmond Court residence, courtesy of the Klauber family.

. . . Klauber arranged for Henri, his wife Margie ‘O,’ and his sister-in-law, Violet, to live at Richmond Court, 7104 Glorieta, La Jolla, a home along the coast designed by Irving J. Gill.

. . . When Henri visited the area, La Jolla was described as a remote village, a serene nearly empty housing tract where citizens occupied themselves with tennis and self-edification, where the wealthy and the art crowd congregated. A later tenant described the poured concrete house as cold and damp. No longer extant, when Henri visited the area it was about two years old and a bit old fashioned by those conditioned by the new and decorative Mediterranean and Mission styles specifically those of the architecture seen in the buildings of the Exposition and evidenced by the work of William Templeton Johnson. By 1911, Gill had departed the community for Los Angeles and his studio was turned over to his nephew, Luis. At the time it was somewhat isolated to Henri’s satisfaction.

..

..

Unknown photographer, Miss Richmond’s home leased by Henri during his visit to La Jolla, 1914, designed by
San Diego’s early modern architect, Irving G. Gill, courtesy of the Klauber family.
It no longer exists having given way to progress.

16

back to top
Back - 16 - Next
 
i ii iii iv 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41