E. Charlton Fortune: The Colorful Spirit
- Euphemia Charlton Fortune
Hardcover Smyth-sewn casebound book, with jacket
236 pages with more than 150 images of E. Charlton Fortune’s paintings, drawings, and ecclesiastical art and furnishings; 19 photographs. Includes Chronology, Selected Bibliography, and Index.
Size: 10½ x 12 in.
California artist E. Charlton Fortune (1885–1969) came of age in the early twentieth century during the advent of the New Woman—a time when women pushed the boundaries of what was expected of them and challenged the status quo. Fortune, unmarried and of independent spirit, often rode her bicycle carrying her painting supplies to paint en plein air. The resulting landscapes were not delicate, soft, or feminine but bold and vigorous and were often thought to have been painted by a man.
Known as an Impressionist and even Post-Impressionist, Fortune frequently painted the Monterey Peninsula and the people who lived there. She also spent a good deal of time abroad, both as a child at her family’s home in Scotland and as an artist traveling in Europe, where she settled for extended periods in St. Ives, England, and Saint-Tropez, France.
In 1931, Fortune announced that she was giving up landscape painting to devote herself entirely to ecclesiastical design. As a lifelong Roman Catholic and the founder of the Monterey Guild, she directed the guild members’ considerable skills to the creation of art and furnishings for Catholic churches. Following her exacting standards and her studious interpretation of liturgical correctness, their work transformed more than seventy churches.
Written by Scott A. Shields and published in conjunction with the exhibition organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art in collaboration with the Crocker Art Museum, E. Charlton Fortune: The Colorful Spirit includes more than one hundred fifty reproductions and photographs of Fortune’s paintings and church furnishings, as well as photographs and a detailed chronology outlining her unconventional life. An essay by Julianne Burton-Carvajal examines Fortune’s work as a liturgical designer.
About the Authors
Associate Director and Chief Curator at the Crocker Art Museum, Scott A. Shields holds an MA and a PhD in art history from the University of Kansas. He has twenty years of museum experience in the Midwest and California. Having curated more than fifty exhibitions, he has been the sole or primary author of numerous exhibition catalogues, including Edgar Payne: The Scenic Journey (Pomegranate); Armin Hansen: The Artful Voyage (Pomegranate); and Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955 (Pomegranate).
After earning master’s and doctoral degrees in literature from Yale University, Julianne Burton-Carvajal taught at University of Texas–Austin for three years, followed by three decades at University of California–Santa Cruz, where she founded and curated La Galería de Casa Latina at Merrill College. Her activity as historian of early California and the Southwest, editor of historical journals, and curator of related museum exhibitions spans the past twenty-five years.