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Traveling, Pouring, and Having Fun

“We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.” Henry David Thoreau


One reason why I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog is because I haven’t been able to keep up with my own life.

Honestly, I need a vacation!

Recently, I have been gone just about every weekend. A few weekends past, Sunni and I went to Los Angles. OMG! So, in Los Angles double yellow lines are only suggestions to the people that reside in the area. If you are a visitor in the area of Los Angles make sure that you remember that it is like driving in the wild, wild, west. If you’re in the fast lane, you better being doing at least 70 MPH. AT LEAST…wink, wink.

When I am done working at a venue, I like to take a little side trip to learn something. This particular time, it was going to Mission San Juan Capistrano. Sunni and I rented the head sets, and were off on our adventure through the Mission. It was so beautiful and informative. Here are some photos of our adventure…



Design, Galleria, Museum Monday, Uncategorized

Gump’s Mystery II

History is one of my favorite subjects, and mix it with Art History, and I am so intrigued. So, lately I have been a sleuth. I have a painting that needs it’s story to be told. First, I have to find out what the story is, I am going to share with you what I have done, and what I have found so far.

The painting is one of a Cardinal and a Bishop. The Cardinal is in red, and the Bishop is in purple.  The Cardinal is indulging in a cigar, cognac, and there is a tea service on the table. The Bishop is reading a newspaper.


I don’t know the title of the painting. At the bottom of the painting is a signature. The person that sold it to me did not know the signature. The back of the painting has seven hints on it. One is a sticker that has S&G Gumps 113-115 Geary St. San Francisco, CA. Another paper has an identification number of the piece with a price tag of 18, 500.00, There are two swatches on the back, I am guessing they are upholstery for furniture. Made in France sticker, the number 8 stamped on the board. The last tag is for an Antiques dealer.IMG_3244


The first thing I did was to call Gump’s. I love Gump’s, and I have purchased several things over the years from the store. The sells people are always super sweet. I talked with a gentleman on the phone for a while since the store wasn’t even open when I called. He was excited for me! I then talked to a lady that told me she had no idea of all the address that Gump’s once had, as they have moved serval times. My goal was simply to find out if the painting was in the store before the earthquake. There was no information online about the various addresses. That was the first place I looked. The lady referred me to a book “Gump’s Treasure Trade” by Carol Green Wilson. I went immediately to Amazon to get the book, and also purchased “Gumps since 1861, A San Franscisco Legend”. I had to be patient for a couple of days.


It took me a couple of days to decipher the signature. I finally found the correct artist. Jean Hector Henri Gambart born April 1, 1854  and died 1891. He started studying art in 1876. Gambart, is the name of the artist.IMG_3253

I found some of the other works that he has done, as well as someone that studied the some of his other works.  Here are some examples of his other pieces. You can see in this one that the same carpet was used and the same screen927262b277bf20e34f48c8a74d4f4bd6-1


This one has the same floor. I am guess that this is at Versailles, because there is evidence that he used to work at the palace. It would also be natural for a Bishop and Cardinal to be at Versailles.

When I Goggled his name, I found a paper that was done…here

Here are some questions I still want to answer…

Who are the Bishop and Cardinal in the painting? What newspaper would the Bishop be reading? One of the popular newspapers in France was Figaro. What is the time frame of the painting? Which one of the Gump’s purchased the painting? Was this frame made by the Gump’s? They were famous for making the frames for the paintings. How long was this in the Gump gallery? Who owned the painting? Was it saved from the fire in San Francisco during the Great Fire?

Some of these questions will be answered once the Smithsonian sends the reels from Archives of American Art. I have the reels on order, so once I find more information I will post all about it.

The saga continues!

After buying 2 books and the loan from archives of archives of American art, I still am no closer to knowing when this painting was sold, and to whom it was sold. I looked through all the names, but never found that it was one of the paintings that was sold. 

It was one of the paintings that was in Gumps before the Great Earthquake of San Francisco. Was it one that survived the quake and fire? I am not sure,but many items were saved. Many items were taken on a ferry to Marin. 

I also know…there were many trips made to Europe, and the auctions were held when painting were not selling. Paintings of cardinals were often utilized in public rooms of the home. I just didn’t find this one listed as one that was sold during the auction. 


Mission San Miguel

Visting the Missions of California is one of my favorite day trips to take on the coast. We have several in our area, and we are lucky enough to live in a town with a Mission. The Mission San Miguel was founded in 1797. Father Junipero Serra was the first Spanish Franciscan Friar that founded the first 9 of the 21 Missions in California. His first Mission was in San Diego, and the furthest was in San Francisco. He walked to each of these Mission. It is known that he experienced a lot of pain due to his legs. As the number of Missions grew, it was a goal of the Monks to get the Mission within a days walk from each other. It was not uncommon back then for people to venture for 30 miles. Although, Father Junipero Serra was not the founder of Mission San Miguel, he is the one that started the adventure. 

Once inside Mission San Miguel, one can feel the presence of so much history. Fermin Francisco de Lausen was the founder of Mission San Miguel. It is named after Saint Michael. Saint Michael is an Archangel. He is often depicted with a blade in one hand, and scales in the other. It is believed that at the hour of death Saint Michael descends from heaven to allow the soul to defend itself for passage to heaven. It is also believed that he was the leader in the army in Heaven against Satin and the dragon. So, there are depictions of Saint Michael with his foot on the dragon. 

The day that Father Fermin he put up a cross on the property, and a bell. Those were usually the first items that marked the land as new Catholic territory. The first Mission was built in 1797, it was burned by 1806. Father Fermin spoke fluent Salinas language, and converted over a thousand Native people to Christianity. The Adobe bricks were made at a near by hot spring. The Mission was finished by 1821, and the frescos that still exist on the interior were painted by Estaban Munras. 

The property for Mission San Miguel was expansive. Eighteen miles to the north and south, so this puts the Mission territory well into Monterey County to the north, and well into Paso Robles to the south. Thirty five miles to the south, which puts the Mission territory at the Pacific Ocean. If I am not mistaken the area to the south would be near what is today San Simeon. Sixty six miles to the east, I am pretty sure is in Kern County today. The lands were used for vineyards, orchards, cattle, sheep, oats, corn, peas, barely, and many other crops. 

The Mission was closed after the earthquake in 2003, because of the damage to the roof. A very talented artists took the old tiles that had fallen off the roof, and painted on the tiles. The artistic tiles are now sold at the Mission. The Mission is also reopened it’s doors on the feast day of Saint Michael, September 29th 2009. It is also a State and National Historic Landmark. 

The history of the Mission is much more fascinating than the small blurb I have communicated. Image

Here are some really great links…