| Ransome Gillet Holdridge is primarily known as Ransome Gillet Holdredge
Ad Code: 3
from Auction House Records.
Indian Encampment in the Sierras
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Born in New York City in 1836, Ransome Holdredge came to California via
the Isthmus of Panama in 1858 and worked as a draftsman at the Mare
Island Naval Yard. His paintings of the 1860s and early 1870s were
signed "Holdridge" and were done in the realistic style of the Hudson
River School. |
During this period he maintained a studio in San Francisco's
Donahoe-Kelly Bank Bldg and exhibited locally. In 1874 he and
Hiram Bloomer held a joint sale of their paintings to finance European
studies. He left in that year and spent about two years studying
His obituary states that he was a field artist for Scribner's publications and was with Major Reno's troops at the time of the Custer massacre in 1876.
After his studies in France, he returned to San Francisco with a
distinctly different style. Paintings done after that time show the
influence of the Barbizon School and were signed "Holdredge."
His works were in great demand during his lifetime, received rave
reviews by the local press, and were often considered superior to those
done by William Keith. Holdredge traveled extensively throughout
the Northwest, Southwest, the Rockies and western Canada, often living
for long periods of time among the various Indian tribes.
Due to his malnutrition and alcoholism, his paintings done during the
latter part of his life were not of good quality. Like his friend
Jules Tavernier, he made considerable money as an artist but did not
manage his money well. He died penniless at the Alameda County
(CA) Infirmary in April 1899 and was buried at public expense.
San Francisco Art Association (cofounder)
California State Fair, 1881-83
Mechanics' Institute (SF), 1868, 1880, 1886
Society of California Pioneers
Orange County Museum
California Historical Society
Nevada Museum (Reno)
Bancroft Library (UC Berkeley)
Crocker Museum (Sacramento)
Oregon Historical Society
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
California State Library (Sacramento); Artists of the American West (Samuels); American Western Art (Harmsen); The West as Art; History & Ideals of American Art (Neuhaus); California Landscape Painting 1860-1885; SF Call, 4-16-1899 (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.|
|Biography from Thomas Nygard Gallery:|
|Ransome Holdredge was an itinerant painter who widely traveled in the
Pacific Northwest while living with the Native Americans. He was
best known for a career painting Indian genre in idealistic landscapes.
Holdredge was born in New York City in 1836. He became a
resident of San Francisco in the 1850's, where he worked as a draftsman
and with the Mare Island Navy Yard. After his service in the
Navy, he passed through the Northwest painting amongst the Indians.
1874, he began two years of study in France where he was significantly
influenced by the Barbizon School of Impressionist painters.
Holdredge already had a degree of Hudson River School training before
his stay in Europe. Instead of canvases that emphasized the
splendor of nature and Indians in serene existence, the Barbizons
expounded on a countrified, French Impressionistic style of landscape.
his return to San Francisco his highly unembellished style had become
more painterly. Back in California and the Bay region he won
acclaim and notoriety as a superb painter. His work was even
considered to be better than that of the famous William Keith. In
California he received recognition for his works of Vernal Falls and other Sierra Views, in addition to Bay Area scenes. Holdredge also picked up work as a staff artist at the Scribner's
magazine and was said to have covered the Custer Massacre. He was
on assignment with further U.S. troops near the Little Big Horn area
when the General was killed. Holdredge was a co-founder of the
San Francisco Art Association and a member of the Bohemian Club.
the 1880's Holdredge traveled the American West extensively, living and
painting for long periods amongst various Indian tribes in Northern
California, Oregon, Washington and Northern Canada. Paintings
from this time period often times depict mountain and prairie
landscapes with Indians as well as Native American portraits. He
was also known to have produced a small number of seascapes during this
Although Ransom Holdredge won wide acclaim as an artist
in San Francisco during the 1880's, placing him on par with other
distinguished painters, his abilities declined significantly in the
1890's due to alcoholism. He died in poverty in April of 1899 in
Almeda County Infirmary from alcoholism and malnutrition. His
earlier works from the 1860's and 1870's were usually signed with only
his last name.
Portland Mechanics Fair, University of Oregon, Portland, Oregon, 1959
Oregon Historical Society, Portland, Oregon (90)
Bohemian Club, San Francisco, California
California State Library, Sacramento, California
Dr. & Mrs. Bruce Friedman Collection, San Francisco Bay area
Oakland Museum, Oakland, California
Oregon Historical Society, Portland, Oregon
University of California, Berkeley, California
Submitted February 2004
|Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Beverly Hills:|
|Ransom Holdredge was born in New York in 1836 and was a resident of San
Francisco by 1860, where he had a studio and supplemented his income by
working as a draftsman. |
In 1874 he left for Europe to study in
Paris, where he fell under the influence of the Barbizon artists.
Upon his return to San Francisco his highly literal style had become
more moody and painterly. He exhibited to acclaim and commercial
success for many years, traveling and painting throughout the
He eventually succumbed to his own demons, dying of alcoholism in Oakland, California, in 1899.
|** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.|
Ransome Holdridge is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Hudson River School Painters