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 close friends, if not 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.. 

Museum staff are curating the exhibition with Mark Humpal, a gallery owner in Portland who is an Espey authority, and Robert Chandler, a collector/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 in Portland, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, and private collectors in California. 


Our People, Our Land, Our Images

June 30 to September 30, 2018

Indigenous photographers from around the globe explore connections to land, community, spirituality, and cultural traditions through imagery ranging from straightforward documentation to artistic treatments incorporating overlays and collage. The photography in this exhibition combines powerful aesthetics with assertions of Native identity. The show includes work by nineteenth-century trailblazers, established contemporary photographers, and emerging artists representing North and South America, the Middle East, and Oceania.

Our People, Our Land, Our Images was organized by the C.N. Gorman Museum, University of California at Davis and traveled by Exhibits USA. The Grace Hudson Museum is the final venue before the exhibition is retired.

Our People, Our Land, Our Images Programs:

July 6, 5:00 to 8:00 PM -- Basket Making, Bead Working, Story Telling. An evening featuring basketweaver Corine Pearce (Pomo), bead artist Stewart Wilburn (Wailaki/Tolowa/
Pomo/Wintu), and the stories of Dry Creek Pomo elder Elizabeth “Belle” Lozinto Cordova. 

July 15 at 2:00 PM -- This Is Not a Commercial, This Is My Homeland. An illustrated talk by Native North American Art scholar Jessica Horton, examining historical threads and environmental themes visible in the photographs exhibited in Our People, Our Land, Our Images

August 3, 5:00 to 8:00 PM -- Fish Basket Celebration. The installation of a commissioned fish basket sculpture by Pomo artist Bruce Smith will be commemorated. Evening features Bruce Smith in person, craft activities for families, and bites of Pomo-style salmon. 

August 25, 2:00 PM -- Queen of the Silent Westerns. Historian Linda M. Waggoner explores the life and career of Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) actress Lilian St. Cyr (1884-1974), stage name "Red Wing," the first Native American Hollywood film star. 

September 16, 2:00 PM -- Indigenous Photography. A panel discussion with the creators of Our People, Our Land, Our Images: C.N. Gorman Museum Director Hulleah J. Tshinhnahjinnie and Gorman Museum Curator Veronica Passalacqua.


Photo Credit: "Laguna Eagle Dancers" by Lee Marmon (Laguna Pueblo)

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


The Illustrations
January 10–March 8, 2015

Jules Tavernier: Artist & Adventurer–The Illustrations, featured 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 focused 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.