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Sullivan Goss marks its 29th year in business with a historic exhibition of 21 watercolor paintings of each of California's historic Missions created between 1897-1900 by Edwin Deakin (1838-1923). Never before exhibited, these watercolors have been held privately by just two owners outside the artist's family and appear as fresh today as the day they were painted.

Edwin Deakin arrived in San Francisco in 1870 to make his way as an artist. Instrumental in creating a vibrant arts community in early San Francisco, he became famous for his landscapes, still lifes of grapes, and European architecture paintings before he committed himself to recording all 21 of California's historic Missions in paint. Between 1897 and 1900, he became the first artist to record all twenty-one missions with three full sets - two in oil and one in watercolor. The first set in oil now resides at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. The second set in oil, created in case the first was damaged, now resides at the Santa Barbara Mission Archive Library.

The watercolors were intended to be published in a book, and towards that end, the artist created a handilluminated title page for each mission, a title page for the book, and a map illustrating the location of each mission along the historic Camino Real. All of the missions as well as these supporting works will be exhibited and offered for sale as a lot.


In 1951, Santa Barbara resident Howard Willoughby was able to purchase this cache directly from the descendants of the artist. They were eventually brought to the attention of Paul Mills, former director of both the Oakland Museum and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, who contributed foundational scholarship on Deakin and helped to shepherd Deakin's legacy into public collections. In 2008, Willoughby's mission was realized when the Crocker Museum created a full retrospective and catalog. While part of Willoughby's collection helped build the Oakland Museum's collection of California art, the watercolors were held back, waiting to be published in book form, as per the terms of the original acquisition. 

Sullivan Goss is exceedingly proud to be able to show this historic national treasure. The exhibition will be supported by other historic works by Edward Potthast, Henry Chapman Ford, Lockwood de Forest, Nell Brooker Mayhew, Anders Aldrin, and John Sykes.


3:25 | Frank Goss

5:05 | Jeremy Tessmer

4:20 | Frank Goss

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