Past Exhibitions

Jules Tavernier: Artist and Adventurer

June 6–October 20, 2014
MMA Pacific Street

French artist Jules Tavernier (1844­–1889) was one of the American West’s pioneering talents and a great adventurer. This exhibition surveys the artist’s career, presenting a hundred works of art. It includes his early transcontinental illustrations for “Harper’s Weekly,” paintings of Native American subjects, and scenes of the San Francisco Bay area and the Monterey Peninsula, where he founded the local art colony in 1875.  Tavernier is credited as the artist who started it all in Monterey and his reputation continued to grow in California. He flourished in the budding social and cultural scene, leading a colorful life. The artist became a member of San Francisco’s newly established Bohemian Club, hosting elaborate parties and taking part in celebratory outdoor revels. The Monterey coast’s natural beauty appealed to Tavernier’s imagination and his penchant for landscape painting, drawing on his early training in France. His Monterey period yielded some of the most audacious work of his career. The exhibition also features Tavernier’s signature paintings of erupting volcanoes, which he painted in Hawaii before his untimely death at age forty-five.

Organized by the Crocker Art Museum, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue—the first to feature Tavernier exclusively.  The book features essays by Scott A. Shields, Ph.D., the Crocker’s chief curator and associate director, as well as Claudine Chalmers, Ph.D., and Alfred Harrison, Jr.

Image: Jules Tavernier (French, 1844–1889), A Balloon in Mid-Air, 1875. Oil on canvas, 30 x 50 inches. Private collection.