Thursday, March 21, 2013

Painting in the Afternoon

owen, framing
My great-grandfather, Owen Boe, owned an art and framing gallery on Market Street in San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake. Owen originally emigrated from Norway and dabbled in painting as a hobby. He enjoyed taking ferryboats to Marin County or Oakland to paint wonderful California landscapes.  This is a photograph of his gallery with landscape paintings on the far wall.

As a small boy I would often gaze at paintings on the wall of our Oakland home. This beautiful landscape was painted by a friend of my great-grandfather, Carl Jonnevold, in the Oakland Hills. Jonnevold was a Norwegian emigrant as well and owned a studio on California Street in San Francisco. The two of them would spend weekends painting together outdoors. They were part of then popular plein-air movement at the turn-of-the century and were noted for an American Impressionistic style. Carl Jonnevold exhibited at exhibitions and galleries throughout California and his paintings are sought after today.  Owen Boe painted for pleasure and probably never sold any of his works.

oakland hills, san francisco
A modern day view in the Oakland Hills, looking west toward San Francisco.

painting, fabrics
In my aunt’s garage I found this painting by Owen Boe. Unfortunately, the painting is in sad need of repair and cleaning.

My mom and her younger sister enjoy the day in their Oakland home as young girls. A painting by Boe hangs on the wall.

There must be some artistic DNA in our family.  This is a painting by Owen’s only daughter, my grandmother, when she was 11. My aunt is an accomplished painter and still is prolific in her late 80’s.

After the earthquake and fire of 1906, Owen Boe gathered up all his framing material and art and took it by horse-drawn cart over to Oakland by ferry. He eventually opened a new gallery on San Pablo Avenue.

***Check out this AMAZING YouTube video taken 4 days before the earthquake!!! The trolley may have passed Owen Boe’s gallery.

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