Sonorous Spring: Birds of the Bowers

Detail of 86.47.10Gift of Junius & Angeline HolteDetail of Brocade Worn by Madame Modjeska (5002G)Gift of Myrtle Blakeslee Your First Carson It is a rare history of Earth Day that does not at some point mention Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Though the first day dedicated to restoring the environment—held on April 22, 1970—coalesced from m...
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Test of Medal: Bar-B-Que Pit Stories

Charles J. Shaw II at the Bar-B-Que Pit, mid 20th Century Grilling the Kids Just before the Bowers Museum closed to the public, we opened Test of Medal: Charles J. Shaw and the Montford Point Marines, which tells the story of Charles J. Shaw II, the first Black Marine to train an integrated platoon of marines. Our last post in the series on his lif...
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Kernel of Thanksgiving: The Bowers Museum’s Corn-llections

Tustin's Peanut Cornucopia at the Parade of Products, 1905-1906Unknown photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 5 x 7 in.17429Gift of Mrs. Lucy Lockett Cornucopia Those of us who are familiar with the story of the Pilgrims’ arrival in Plymouth know that they would have perished in a harsh winter had it not been for the help of Tisquan...
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Take No Grave Image: Tombstones and Caskets of the Bowers’ Collections

 Gravestone of Charles and Ada Bowers at Fairhaven Memorial, some additional spookiness added for effect. All Hallows’ Eve While the Halloween spirit might be somewhat diminished in a year in which unmasked children coming to your door asking for candy are more frightening than a monster doing the same, it is even more important to take a brea...
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Shared Likeness: Portraits of Don Bernardo Yorba

Portrait of Don Bernardo Yorba, c. 1850Henri Pénelon (French, 1827-1885)Oil on canvas, gilt frame; 24 ½ x 19 ¾ x 1 ¼ in.5070Gift of Mrs. Herman Locke and Bernardo Marcus Yorba, Jr. Lasting Legacy It is important to remember that especially in California the first Hispanic Americans did not immigrate to the country, but already lived here when Mexic...
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Seeing Double: Emigdio Vasquez’ Paintings at the Bowers

Detail of Untitled, 1992Emigdio Vasquez (American 1939-2014)Oil on Canvas; 48 x 68 in.2001.46.1Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Robert S. Barnes The Godfather National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th as a celebration of the cultures and contributions of Americans whose families came from Latin America and Spain. Ending on October 15, the mon...
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Californian Still Life: Don Juan Forster’s Brandy Still

Brandy Still, c. 1776-1831Southern CaliforniaCopper; 53 x 36 in.2810Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Forster Name Brandy The earliest brandies, used medicinally, appear to date back to 13th century France, but stories hold that the first commercial brandy was created, as many things are, almost completely by accident. In the 16th century a Dutch trader di...
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William Wendt: Transcendentalist

Sycamores, 1918William Wendt (American, 1865-1946)Oil on canvas; 26 3/4 x 42 3/4 x 2 1/4 in.F7678Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Transcendental State of Mind The great transcendentalists had come and gone by the time the William Wendt first arrived in California with a brush in hand and love of nature in heart and began painting this gold...
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Legally Fond: The Old Orange County Courthouse

Orange County Courthouse after Completion, 20th CenturyUnknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 10 x 8 in.7019.21Terry E. Stephenson Collection Justice Just Is This year has been one of remembrance and celebration as 2019 marks Santa Ana’s sesquicentennial. With posts on the city’s earliest land holders, the origins of the fir...
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Prequel to the Origin Story: A Prehistory of Santa Ana’s Foundation

Don Bernardo Yorba’s House, c. 1910Unknown Photographer; Santa Ana Canyon, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8 x 10 in.8478Terry E. Stephenson Collection Variations of a City In both Forged in Fire Safety: The First Santa Ana Fire Department and A Beginner’s Guide to Santa Ana Street Names the Bowers Blog has previously looked at the early hi...
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Officers and Offices: History of the Santa Ana Police Department

Motorcycle Officer, early 20th CenturyUnknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 10 x 8 in.37057.2Leo Tiede Photography Collection Police Story California at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries was very much a part of the frontier, with justice often poorly exacted by unqualified parties. In its earliest iter...
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A Beginner’s Guide to Santa Ana Street Names

Map of Santa Ana, 1915Clyde D. Butler and Geo L. Bates; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPaper and ink; 20 × 25 5/8 in.17481Bowers Museum Permanent Collection Spurgeons, Surgeons and Spurred Dons For those of us who live in, work in or enjoy any of the myriad offerings of Santa Ana, we have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours traversing the county seat’s...
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Fourth and Fourth: Santa Ana’s 4th Street Independence Day Celebrations

School Children on Float, July 4, 1890Unknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8 x 5 in.2983Gift of Mr. William McPherson July the Fourth Be with You There is a lot to like about the Fourth of July. Family, friends and neighbors all come together for a day of celebrating this country’s birth with sumptuous barbeque, plentiful ...
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Gone Fishing: Catching Neptune’s Bounty on Father’s Day

Fishing Hook, late 19th to early 20th CenturyIñupiaq culture; Seward Peninsula Area, AlaskaWalrus ivory, lead, iron and cotton thread; 2 1/4 × 4 1/8 in.39352Gift of Winifred P. Morgan Let’s See What’s Biting, Champ Some dads fit all the clichés. They are handy when something needs fixing, quick with a pun but otherwise tactful enough to let mom han...
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Forged in Fire Safety: The First Santa Ana Fire Department

Hook and Ladder Volunteer Firemen of Santa Ana, May 1, 1888Photo by B. F. Conaway; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8.5 x 5 ¼ in. 2821Gift of John Luxembourger Sunny Santa Ana California William H. Spurgeon and his wife spent a few years in the early 1860s living in Los Angeles until she passed away. Heartbroken, he moved back to the East t...
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To the Trinity and Beyond: Jesus at the Bowers

Pilgrimage Souvenir, 19th CenturyJerusalem, modern-day IsraelMother-of-pearl; 8 ½ x 8 ½ in.31521Gift of Mrs. John Carruthers Getting a Rise out of Spring Spring is a time of rebirth. Winter’s chill recedes, new flowers bloom and trees seemingly come back from the dead. Branches which for all the world appeared to be deceased are given Lazaran life,...
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Thomas Hunt: A Legacy Remembered

Detail of Untitled, c. 1924Thomas Hunt (Canadian-born American, 1882-1938)Oil on paper on board; 10 x 12 in.F7742Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Anti-Entropic Relay Legacy is without a doubt one of the constant thought worms throughout history, and we can all agree that it is not distributed in equal measure to the deceased. While it is p...
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Saint Ann’s Inn: Santa Ana’s Love Shack

Saint Ann's Inn and Grounds, 1920sEdward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print35558.7Gift of Mr. Eldon G. McNeil Valentine’s Day It’s that day we love to love! Measured in bouquets of flowers, squares of chocolate and cards swarming with weapon-toting winged babies, Valentine’s Day is truly a holiday cherubbed by...
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Plein to See: Nellie Moulton and the Bequest that Began It All

Detail of Coastline, early 20th CenturyNellie Gail Moulton (American, 1878-1972)Oil on masonite; 12 × 14 × 3/4 in.F7736Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Stevens Start-off One of the lesser-known facts about the Bowers Museum’s remarkable Fine Art Collection is that we have only paid for one painting. The rest of the Bowers’ 1543 currently a...
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Hewes-ed from Stone

Busts of David Hewes and Franklina Gray, 1877Giuseppe Andreoni (Italian, 19th Century); Pisa, ItalyMarble; Various Dimensions2697, 32782Gifts of Mrs. D. Eyman Huff and Mr. & Mrs. James A. Moore Total Bust With American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times having just left the Bowers Museum this past weekend, the portraits section of the much...
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Two Photographers Outside of Orange, California

Bowers Museum’s Bell Tower, c. 1932Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 11 x 14 in.38107.11Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Borders Same Blog, New Home This week the Bowers Blog is happy to announce a re-release on a new platform! As we continue to improve the way in which we share our collections, we take...
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Three Vignettes of Frank Coburn

Street Scene in the Rain, c.1921Frank Coburn (American, 1862-1938)Oil on canvas; 23 × 27 1/2 in.3953Gift of Georgia DeLong in memory of her brother, Frank Coburn Beginning For painters like Frank Coburn, capturing beauty began with finding it in places where few others could see it. Much of Coburn’s oeuvre is represented by the bright and picturesq...
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The Magnificent Floyd

Floyd E. Stewart Performing Magic, c. 1936Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; Various Dimensions36247.3,.4Gift of Mrs. Weston Walker April Fools bring May LOL’sIt takes a rare skill to fool others, especially in a way which delights and entertains rather than leaves one somehow feeling cheated. The pref...
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Shamrocks for a Glam Box: Placentia Mutual's Signature Brand

Shamrock Brand Citrus Crate Label, 1930-1939Western Lithograph Company (American, 1908-1985); Los Angeles, CaliforniaChromolithograph; 10 x 10 ¾ in.82.59.2Gift of Mr. Andrew E. CoenSt. Patrick’s DayStereotypical symbols like leprechauns and their pots of gold may seem hackneyed, but the shamrock—characteristically a species of three-leaf clover—sta...
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On My Honor: The Legacy of the Boy Scouts of America

Weapons for Liberty, 1917Joseph Leyendecker (German-born American, 1874-1951)Paper; 35 x 25 ½ in. 96.41.5Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Weston F. Sprague Most everyone wants to be involved in something greater than themselves, and for many boys and young men in the United States it has historically been the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). On August 1, 1907, Rob...
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Silkwood: The Glue that brought Orange County Together

Silkwood 2:07, 1893Ella Congdon (American, 1871 - 1920)Oil on canvasR.2014.4.100Bowers Museum CollectionsFirst Annual Fair Life Membership TicketOrange County Fair Association; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPaper; 2 x 4 1/2 in.36164.1Gift of Miss Gertrude MontgomeryThe creation of Orange County in 1889 was not universally well received, and its unfolding le...
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Frank Coburn's Forest of Arden

Forest of Arden, c. 1916Frank Coburn (American, 1862-1938)Oil on wood panel; 20 3/4 x 25 3/4 in.3821Gift of Frank CoburnUntitled (Madam Modjeska at Arden), c. 1910Photographer unknownPrinted paper; 10 3/8 x 7 7/8 in.4568Gift of Everett C. Maxwell Photorealism Artist Frank Coburn painted this image from a published photograph of the famous Polish-bo...
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