Water, Land and Sky: Rediscovering A.T. DeRome

May 5 - May 22, 2004

California native Albert Thomas DeRome (1885- 1959) was born in San Luis Obispo County and studied at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art with Arthur Mathews, John Stanton, and Lorenzo Latimer. He worked as a political cartoonist and advertising director for a candy company before becoming a landscape painter, and quickly became known for beautifully composed and beguiling views of the California coastline. Of the nearly 100 paintings in the retrospective exhibition, "Water, Land and Sky: Rediscovering A. T. DeRome," most are characteristically tiny, jewel like scenes of the places in California DeRome loved best. Inspired by changes in the sea and the sky, his coastal paintings are of particularly note, depicting lush foreground carpets of colorful vegetation, with the majestic crystal blue and glass green colors of the Pacific peaking out beyond pristine sand dunes under light feathery skies.

After a serious automobile accident in 1931 DeRome settled in Pacific Grove where he painted with Carlos Hittell, Gunnar Widforss, and Will Sparks. His favorite subjects were Point Lobos, the sand dunes in Carmel, rural Monterey County and the Missions. Many DeRome paintings, including a number of exquisite early watercolors, were lost in the 1991 Oakland Hills fire. This is the first comprehensive exhibition of his remaining works. Also on view are his art materials, letters, and the photographs he used as part of his painting process.

A selection of wooden cigar box panel and other miniature paintings from the College collection and private lenders is on view in the William Keith Room. The College's small Keith paintings and frames have recently been conserved; most are on public view for the first time. Keith's finest miniatures were painted in the 1890s and most were destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. He recreated many from memory between 1906 and 1909. Selected paintings from both decades have been included in the exhibition. A display of professional conservation materials and methods used to maintain oil on wood paintings is also on view in the Keith Room.

The Hearst Art Gallery, accredited by the American Association of Museums, is open Wednesdays - Sundays, 11 - 4:30 p.m. A $2 suggested adult admission donation is appreciated; children under 10 are free. For more information, contact (925) 631-4379.

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Contact: Heidi Donner (925) 631-4069 or hdonner@stmarys-ca.edu