Artful Liaisons: Connecting Painters Grace Carpenter, Edward Espey, and Grafton Tyler Brown

Organized by the Grace Hudson Museum, this show explores the art and friendships linking three artists over 35 years. Grace Carpenter and Edward Espey, were students together at art school in San Francisco and romantically intertwined. Later, Espey moved to Portland, Oregon, and established himself as a landscape painter. In Portland, he developed a friendship with Grafton Taylor Brown, another landscape painter and the first significant African American artist on the West Coast. Brown had also spent time in San Francisco, as an artist and as a successful lithographer.. 

The exhibition was curated by Karen Holmes, Curator of Exhibitions and Carpenter Family Historian at the Grace Hudson Museum, and Mark Humpal, owner of Mark Humpal Fine Art, Portland, Oregon and an Espey scholar, with assistance from Robert Chandler, a collector/historian/writer in the Bay Area who is an authority on Brown. The art work in the show comes from the Grace Hudson Museum collections, as well as loans from Mark Humpal Fine Art, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, and various private collectors. 

Artful Liaisons is made possible by the generosity of Ivy Kanoeaulani Richardson, the Thornhill Family Foundation, and the Sun House Guild.

Click on the following links for articles about the exhibition:
Santa Rosa Press-Democrat — December 9, 2018
Ukiah Daily Journal — October 22, 2018

Artful Liaisons Programs:

October 19 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM — Members-Only Preview
Active members are invited to celebrate the opening of Artful Liaisons. The Gift Shop will be open and Members receive a one-night 20% discount on purchases. Welcome and brief remarks at 6:00 PM. Refreshments will be served.

October 27 at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM — Curator Tour of Artful Liaisons. Join Karen Holmes, exhibition curator, for one of two exclusive tours of Artful Liaisons. Each tour limited to 20 people. Make your reservations at (707) 467-2836 or at Free with Museum admission.

Saturday, January 26, 2:00 PM — The Making of Artful Liaisons. Learn about the artists of Artful Liaisons and how the exhibition came together in this panel discussion featuring exhibit curators Karen Holmes (Grace Hudson Museum) and Mark Humpal (Mark Humpal Fine Art). With Robert Chandler (historian and Grafton Tyler Brown authority).  Moderated by David Burton, GHM director.  Book signings to follow.  Free with Museum admission.

Saturday, February 2 to Sunday February 3 — Ukiah High Art Exhibition. Come discover the next Carpenter, Espey, and Brown when the Museum hosts a pop-up exhibition featuring paintings by the current class of advanced art students at Ukiah High School. Under the direction of Ukiah High art instructor Rose Easterbrook, the show will focus on landscapes.  Pop-up exhibition free both days, donations welcome.

Wednesday, February 13, 6:00 PM — Poetry of Love, Friendship, and Creativity. Poets Armand Brint, Judy Halebsky, and Theresa Whitehill explore the emotions and passions found in Artful Liaisons, through individual and collaborative readings of their own work and the poems of others.  Free; donations welcome.

Stone Gallery

The J. Ralph and Lois Stone Gallery features a long-term exhibition showcasing Pomo baskety masterpieces woven between 1860-2003. The baskets come from the collections of the Grace Hudson Museum, other private institutions with significant ethnographic holdings, and private collections. Informative text panels explain the steps taken in cultivating, harvesting, and processing materials for basketmaking. Panels also discuss the history of Pomo basketweaving, and the forms and functions of various basket types.

Person Gallery

The Norma and Evert Person Gallery features a permanent exhibit of informative text panels, photographs, textiles, and objects that interpret the history, and celebrate the legacy, of the memorable Carpenter-Hudson family. Organized by generations, each section of the gallery introduces the viewer to members of Grace Carpenter Hudson’s illustrious family through descriptions of their lives, and displays of their belongings. Grace’s own section expands upon her personal life, while her professional career is highlighted in the Ivan B. and Elvira Hart Gallery.

The Hart Gallery

The Ivan B. and Elvira Hart Gallery houses a permanent exhibition dedicated to the artistic career of Grace Carpenter Hudson. Accompanied by text and photo panels giving extensive information about each phase and aspect of Grace’s professional development, the gallery features numerous oils, watercolors, pen and ink drawings, charcoal, conte crayon, and graphite drawings, and mixed media works. Hudson’s personal life is documented further in the Norma & Evert Person Gallery.


May 30–August 30, 2015

An exciting international exhibition, Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art featured the work of professional bamboo artists living in Japan, whose evocative, sensual, and sculptural pieces explore innovations in bamboo art since the mid-twentieth century. The artworks were chosen by Dr. Andreas Marks, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, from the collections of the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in Hanford, California. It was traveled by International Arts and Artists, Washington, D.C.

To more closely tie Modern Twist to our collections and mission, at the Grace Hudson Museum we added 12 Pomo baskets to accompany the 38 Japanese art pieces on display. Taken from our own holdings, and those of other lenders, the Pomo baskets provide interesting similarities and contrasts to their Japanese counterparts. Both basketry traditions are world famous, and mastering them requires decades of meticulous practice in harvesting and preparing native plant materials, and in constructing finished pieces. Modern Twist featured examples of both Japanese and Pomo pieces by master weavers that together span over one hundred years of textile arts.

Bamboo is a quintessential part of Japanese life, and its emergence as a sculptural art form has religious and cultural roots. The Japanese have used this extraordinarily strong and flexible grass for centuries–for everything from functional objects to ceremonial baskets, and for the vases, tea scoops, ladles and whisks that serve an important place in the Japanese traditions of flower arranging (ikebana) and tea gatherings (chanoyu and senchadō). It is a challenging medium, with less than 100 professional bamboo artists in Japan today.

Modern Twist brings 17 of these artists to North American audiences, including two men deemed “Living National Treasures” by the Japanese government in recognition of the excellence of their work. These National Treasures–Katsushiro Sōhō and Fujinuma Noboru–are joined by visionary artists Matsumoto Hafū, Honma Hideaki, Ueno Masao, Uematsu Chikuyū, Nagakura Ken’ichi, Tanabe Chikuunsai III, Tanabe Yōta, Tanabe Shōchiku III, Tanioka Shigeo, Tanioka Aiko, Honda Shōryū, Mimura Chikuhō, Nakatomi Hajime, Sugiura Noriyoshi, and Yonezawa Jirō.

It was a rare opportunity at the Grace Hudson Museum to experience groundbreaking levels of conceptual, technical, and artistic ingenuity both in bamboo art, and in the striking examples of our own local Pomo basketry.

The exhibition was generously supported by the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Nomura Foundation, Japan Foundation,
Los Angeles, and the Snider Family Fund.


March 21 through May 17, 2015

A dynamic exploration of California’s ecological issues by leading contemporary artists from six regions throughout the state, this exhibit examined natural and human forces that have shaped California’s current landscape. Artists included: Kim Abeles, Charles Bello, Robert Dawson, Sant Khalsa, Judith Lowry, Linda MacDonald, Ann Savageau, Kim Stringfellow, Penelope Gottlieb, Newton Harrison & Helen Mayer Harrison, Gyongy Laky, Luke Matjas, and Daniel McCormick. Ignite! was a traveling exhibition from Exhibit Envoy, in conjunction with the California Association of Museums’ Green Museums Initiative and funded by The James Irvine Foundation. Support for its Ukiah venue was provided by the Sun House Guild.

  Penelope Gottlieb, Cirsium vulgare,   Courtesy of the Artist

Penelope Gottlieb, Cirsium vulgare,
Courtesy of the Artist

  IGNITE! The Art of Sustainability,   in the Main Gallery

IGNITE! The Art of Sustainability,
in the Main Gallery