Lesbian Artist Exhibition Catalog Makes A Great Gift Idea

California artist E. Charlton Fortune (1885–1969) came of age during a time when women began to redefine their roles in society, pushing the boundaries of what was expected of them and challenging the status quo.

Fortune, unmarried and in possession of an independent spirit, often rode her bicycle to find the perfect setting to paint in plein-air. The resulting landscapes were not delicate, soft, or feminine but bold and vigorous — and often thought to have been created by a man.

Fortune’s paintings have frequently been labeled Impressionist, though they moved well beyond that style. Her signature works were strong in color and rugged and gestural in execution.

She spent many of her active years working in and around Monterey, California, where she maintained a home, and then, in the 1920s, lived and painted abroad for extended periods in St. Ives, England, and Saint-Tropez, France.

Upon her return to California in the late 1920s, Fortune founded and directed the Monterey Guild, a group of skilled craftspeople who, under her direction, created original, modern artworks and furnishings for churches.

Fortune’s Northern California connection comes full circle early next year, when Sacramento’s Crocker Museum exhibits “E. Charlton Fortune: The Colorful Spirit,” opening January 28 and continuing through April 22, 2018.

Organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art in conjunction with the Crocker Art Museum, “E. Charlton Fortune: The Colorful Spirit” is accompanied by a gorgeous, 236-page, full-color catalogue.

Luckily, you don’t have to wait until January to get a preview of the exhibit because its catalogue, which is more like a lovely coffee table book really, is already available for purchase for $60 in the Crocker’s Museum Store. Just ask for it at the register, and tell them Outword sent you.

An impressive book written by the Crocker’s chief curator, Scott Shields, “The Colorful Spirit” would make a wonderful present for the art lovers on your Christmas list.     

Museum admission ticket gift cards are also available at the Crocker’s front desk that can be used to come see the Fortune exhibition once it opens next month.                                         

For more information, visit https://www.crockerart.org/exhibitions/e-charlton-fortune.

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