Charles Arthur Fries (1854-1940), after his arrival in San Diego from the east in 1897, was considered "the dean of San Diego artists". Today we see his beautiful impressionist works featuring the San Diego area as well as other scenes around Southern California. These in-demand works bring to about the $20,000 at auctions. His life before arriving in the state is somewhat less known, but this pencil on paper drawing will add to that body of knowledge. Measuring 11 1/2" by 9", (15" by 12" framed), it is signed at bottom "C.A. Fries" and dated there "Dec./93". On the reverse is an old typed label which reads "AUNT MAUDE/Making Bonnets in kitchen/Waitsfield, Vermont/1893". An original gallery label from Orr's Gallery completes the backing. Orr's Gallery was known for its promotion of San Diego art, having handled many major works over the years. Fries was born in Ohio and raised in Cincinnati, where he associated with figures who, nurtured by the city's art scene, went on to national prominence. These figures included John H. Twachtman, Robert Blum, Kenyon Cox, and Frank Duveneck. In 1872 Fries was apprenticed to a lithography firm. He went to the Southwest to sketch, and lithographs came out of these drawings. Fries married in 1887 and in 1890 purchased a small farm in rural Waitsfield, Vermont, roughly in the middle of the state. It would have been during the six years that he lived there that he sketched "Aunt Maude". In 1896 he left for California and remained there the rest of his life, prospering as a recognized member of the art community. Along with Maurice Braun and Alfred Mitchell, he was one of the founders of the La Jolla Art Association, and he was active in other art organizations of the area. CONDITION: this approximately 125 year old drawing shows some evidence of its age, with general soiling and some brown stains at lower right and elsewhere and a long diagonal fold/scuff in the top third of the image, passing through the hair of the figure and the window panes. All photos were taken through non-glare glass which dulls detail.
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