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 Sophie Marston Brannan  (1877 - 1960)

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Lived/Active: California/New York      Known for: landscape, historic buildings

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Landscape with Houses and Children at Play
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Sophie Marston Brannan was born December 11, 1877 in Mountain View, California, though she grew up in San Francisco. While it had been her good financial fortune to be born into a moneyed household, it appears that, later in life, like so many artists, Brannan had become less comfortable financially. During World War II, and for many years thereafter, she took employment as an artist at the Alameda Air Base. From this point on, her output as a painter was probably severely cut back.

Her exhibition years were approximately from 1896 through the early 1930s. She lived in New York City from 1910 until returning to San Francisco around 1940, though she often visited California during that period. A representational artist, she made frequent expeditions to paint the landscape and historic buildings of the Bay Area counties of Napa, Monterey, Marin, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara from 1901 to 1918, working in oil, watercolor and pastel. She painted an old customs house, General Sherman's Headquarters, coastal views, fishing boats and many landscapes with oak trees.

Brannan exhibited widely in prestigious group shows in the East, including four New York City locations: Women's Art Club of New York; National Academy of Design; American Watercolor Society; and the New York Watercolor Society; as well as the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and, in the Midwest, the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. Two one-person exhibitions during World War I, include the Macbeth Gallery, in New York City, 1915; and William Keith Galleries, San Francisco, 1916.

Similarly, Brannan's paintings are in the collections of major institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago; Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; National Academy of Design; and Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Apparently a precocious child, Brannan had an exhibition of pencil drawings at age twelve. She had begun her studies at age seven at the California School of Design. As an adult, she studied in Paris, France around 1898-1899, returning to the School of Design to study with Arthur F. Mathews.

Sophie Marston Brannan died in San Francisco, California on March 16, 1960.

Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, "Women Artists of the American West"

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Sophie Marston Brannan was born in Mountain View, CA on Dec. 11, 1877. At age seven Brannan began art studies in San Francisco at the Mark Hopkins Institute under Arthur Mathews and continued in Paris for five years. Upon returning from Europe, she established a studio in San Francisco and was active in the local art scene. Most of her early work was lost in the earthquake of 1906. About 1910 she moved to NYC and achieved national recognition for award-winning canvases in important national shows. At the outbreak of WWII she returned to San Francisco and remained until her death on March 16, 1960. Member: Nat'l Ass'n of Women Painters & Sculptors; SFAA; Society of Painters of NY; AFA; American WC Society. Exh: Mechanics' Inst. (SF), 1897; Nat'l Ass'n of Women Painters & Sculptors, 1912 (prize); Conn. Academy of Fine Art; St Francis Hotel (SF), 1914 (solo); SFAA, 1914. In: AIC; NAD; Union League Club (NYC); CGA; Syracuse Museum of FA; PAFA; NY WC Club; Maryland Inst. (Baltimore); CHS; Toronto Museum; Museum of Buenos Aires; Nebraska AA (Lincoln).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
California State Library (Sacramento); SF Chronicle, 2-1-1914; American Art Annual 1919-29; Who's Who in American Art 1936-62; Women Artists of the American West; SF Examiner, 8-23-1914 and 3-18-1960 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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