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Confirmation Class by Fannie Eliza Duvall

Confirmation Class, 1897
Fannie Eliza Duvall (American, 1861-1934); San Juan Capistrano, California
Oil on canvas; 20 x 30 in.
Gift of Miss Vesta A. Olmstead and Miss Frances Campbell

Fairs, Fires, and Fannie

Fannie Duvall studied in New York before moving to Los Angeles in 1888. She was one of the earliest accomplished artists to settle in the Southland. Throughout the 1890s when she produced oil and pastel landscape and still life paintings, she was at her artistic peak. Fannie Duvall was one of the first local artists to adopt the new theories of Impressionism. In 1893, she produced a masterpiece, "Chrysanthemum Garden in Southern California" which was shown at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago; unfortunately this work burned in the infamous Oakland fire. Confirmation Class, depicting a scene at the San Juan Capistrano mission, shows how she found California themes to satisfy Impressionist formats. Girls heading to confirmation via a mission garden is a local translation of the popular French theme of women dressed in white standing in flower gardens. After 1900, Duvall considered Los Angeles her home, although she spent much of her time abroad in study and travel.
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