Lake County News, California – North Coast Art Painter Grace Hudson returns home
NORTH COAST, Calif .– A prized collection of paintings by artist Grace Hudson is returning home to Mendocino County under a unique deal with the Palm Springs Art Museum in Southern California.
The pact provides for the direct donation of 16 works of art by Hudson to the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah and a long-term loan of two more oil paintings.
Hudson was known for her work focusing on the Pomo Indians of the region, making several hundred portraits of them.
The Palm Springs Collection includes two oil paintings that Hudson made in 1901 during a transformative stay in Hawaii. His work from this period is rare.
The gift collection also includes five sepia (bitumen on canvas) portraits of ancient local Pomo in the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as oil paintings depicting a sweat lodge, hop fields and a landscape of the Ukiah Valley with the subtle presence of a character carrying wood in a Pomo basket.
There are two unfinished portraits, “Indian Girl” and “Head of Indian Girl,” which staff at the Grace Hudson Museum believe will be useful for research purposes. Finally, there are two small landscapes of historic Todd Grove and the old hatchery that once existed along Gibson Creek on the west side of Ukiah.
The costs associated with the transfer of the paintings were covered by a grant from the Miner Anderson Family Foundation in San Francisco.
Writer / director Robert Mailer Anderson has strong ties to Mendocino County, where he graduated from Anderson Valley High School. One uncle, Bruce Anderson, is editor / publisher of the Anderson Valley Advertiser.
Norma Person, a Sonoma County philanthropist and widow of former newspaper editor Evert Person, has pledged her much-needed support for the transfer agreement with the Palm Springs Museum in addition to making a generous contribution to help alleviate the financial losses linked to the pandemic in the Hudson.
The people to this day are the biggest financial contributors to the Grace Hudson Museum.
“We are happy to help bring this special collection back to Mendocino County,” said Robert Mailer Anderson. Palm Springs Art Museum staff contacted the Grace Hudson Museum about the possibility of donating the collection last May.
Rather than selling Hudson’s individual works of art to collectors on the open market, senior Palm Springs Museum officials decided that donating the artwork to the Grace Hudson Museum would be the best outcome for the public, academics and art historians.
“Palm Springs believed that keeping the paintings in the public trust rather than selling them to private collectors was the right thing to do,” said David Burton, director of the Grace Hudson Museum.
The Miner Anderson Family Foundation has awarded a grant of $ 40,000 to the Grace Hudson Museum to cover expected transfer costs of the Palm Springs collection. Sotheby’s estimated that the collection could fetch up to $ 200,000 if it were auctioned.
The Palm Springs Art Museum emphasizes modern and contemporary art, which led it to decide to donate Hudson’s work. The museum decided in the early 2000s to move away from an artistic mission set in the 1930s. For decades, the Palm Springs Museum has focused on natural history, the surrounding Cahuilla Indian culture, and, later the fine arts.
As the new direction of the museum evolved, senior staff in Palm Springs realized that Hudson’s extensive collection would likely remain in storage and out of public view.
During the discussion between the two museums, Palm Springs staff asked the Grace Hudson Museum to pay all transfer fees related to the donation of the paintings.
Director Burton said he, current curator Alyssa Boge, retired museum director Sherrie Smith-Ferri and former curator Karen Holmes have reviewed the collection and assessed its potential importance.
Burton traveled to Palm Springs to personally view the paintings and found them in “good or excellent condition”.
“We concluded that the Palm Springs collection would greatly expand and improve what we do here,” said Burton.
The Ukiah Museum is the largest repository of artist Hudson’s work and is known nationally for the breadth of its collection of Hudson paintings and Pomo artifacts collected by the artist and her husband, Dr John Hudson, a renowned ethnologist.
The building up of the Hudson’s Palm Springs Paintings Collection is a study of art history.
Eleven Hudson paintings were donated to Palm Springs by C. Frederick Faude, a wealthy art and antiques dealer who had showrooms in San Francisco and Sausalito.
At the time, Faude’s collection of paintings on Hudson was considered one of the most important in the country. Faude was also a benefactor of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, where a gallery is named in his honor.
Faude and his partner, San Francisco restaurateur Louis Foerster, lived in San Anselmo, Marin County, where they donated fourteen acres of land for a public park named in his honor.
Three of Hudson’s paintings arriving in Ukiah were donated to the Palm Springs Museum by a trust established by the late actor and artist George Montgomery. Another Hudson painting was donated by actor William Holden’s trust.
The newly acquired paintings from Palm Springs are due to arrive at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah in early January. Museum director Burton said they would be the centerpieces of a new exhibit highlighting recent acquisitions, slated to open in February.
Mike Geniella is a member of the board of trustees of the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah.