Now Showing

January 10–March 8, 2015

JULES TAVERNIER: Artist & Adventurer

The Illustrations
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Our current exhibition, Jules Tavernier: Artist & Adventurer–The Illustrations,
features selected work from a larger show organized by the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California in 2014, and presented both there and at the Monterey Museum of Art. At the Grace Hudson Museum the show focuses on the wood engravings that Tavernier created with artist Paul Frenzeny on a coast-to-coast sketching assignment for Harper’s Weekly in 1873-1874.

An illustrator, landscapist, genre painter, and visionary, nineteenth-century artist Jules Tavernier (1844–1889) was born in France but became one of the American West’s foremost talents. Though his career was brief, his intense creative energy spawned unique works in a variety of media, including engraving, oil, watercolor, and pastel. In painting, he employed techniques ranging from densely layered glazes built up in the manner of the old masters to the swift, fresh brushwork popularized by France’s Barbizon painters and, at times, the Impressionists.

 In his own day, Tavernier’s works broadened perceptions about what was considered paintable. The transcontinental illustrations he made with Paul Frenzeny brought images and details of the West into American parlors everywhere and resulted in iconic paintings of American Indian life. In Monterey, California, he discovered and advanced new subject matter, leading followers away from grand, sweeping vistas toward the more intimate and emotional portrayal of nature that he had learned in France. In San Francisco, his studio became a bohemian artistic center, and he helped to found and lead the city’s arts organizations. Heading even farther to the west, in Hawaii he broke new ground by painting dramatic scenes of fiery volcanoes, before passing away in Honolulu at the age of 45.

Jules Tavernier: Artist & Adventurer–The Illustrations is accompanied by a full-color catalogue and features essays by Scott A. Shields, Ph.D., the Crocker's chief curator and associate director, Claudine Chalmers, Ph.D., and Alfred Harrison, Jr. of the North Point Gallery in San Francisco.

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Shooting Antelopes from a Railroad Train in Colorado
Jules Tavernier and Paul Frenzeny, 1875
9" x 13 3/8"

Wood engraving (with later hand coloring) for Harper's Weekly
Private Collection


Marin Sunset, Back of Petaluma
Jules Tavernier, early 1880s

26 1/2" x 30"

Oil on canvas
Crocker Art Museum, gift of Dr. Robert L. and
Mrs. Sansa O'Connor Alexander. 1980.5


sun house symbolThe Grace Hudson Museum & Sun House
Come enjoy regional art and culture in the context of an extraordinary family.

The Grace Hudson Museum and Sun House in Ukiah, California, is an art, history and anthropology museum and historic home focusing on the lifeworks of artist Grace Carpenter Hudson (1865-1937) and her ethnologist husband, Dr. John W. Hudson (1857-1936). Changing interdisciplinary exhibitions and public programs highlight Western American art, California Indian cultures, histories of the diverse North Coast region of California, and the work of contemporary regional artists.

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