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 Christian August Jorgensen  (1860 - 1935)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: landscape, missions and marine painting

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Ad Code: 3
Christian August Jorgensen
from Auction House Records.
Grand Canyon of Arizona, 1912
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Oslo, Norway on Oct. 7, 1860 Christian Jorgensen moved to San Francisco with his mother in 1870.  He showed artistic promise at an early age, and when the School of Design opened in 1874, he was among the first to enroll.

At 14 he was greatly influenced at that school by Virgil Williams, who was both teacher and father figure.  Jorgensen later became an instructor at the School of Design and served as assistant director from 1881-83.

He then established a studio at 131 Post Street where he continued teaching, and by the mid-1880s was a successful landscape painter.  For five years he and his wife, Angela, traveled by horse and buggy to the sites of the 21 California missions and during this period he produced 80 watercolor studies of the missions and a complete set of oils.

In 1899, he pitched a tent in Yosemite, and after several months, obtained a permit to build a studio-home there and continued painting there during the warm months for 19 years.  (His home in Yosemite is now used as headquarters for the government rangers.)

In 1905 he built a boulder home in Carmel (this later became the Hotel La Playa) where he and Angela lived for a few years; most of his time was spent at the family home in Piedmont, CA.

The Jorgensens made trips to Italy (1892-94), Mexico (1907), the Grand Canyon (1910) and New England (1916).

Jorgensen enjoyed a long career and continued painting until his death in Piedmont on June 24, 1935.

San Francisco Art Association, 1884-1905; Mechanics' Institute (SF), 1884-97; California State Fair, 1886-96 (medals); Bohemian Club, 1899-1922; Cosmos Club (Washington, DC), 1906; Sequoia Club (SF), 1907; Del Monte Art Gallery (Monterey), 1907-09; Rabjohn & Marcom Gallery (SF), 1908; Alaska-Yukon Expo (Seattle), 1909; Courvoisier Gallery (SF), 1909; Kanst Gallery (LA), 1915.

California Historical Society, Bohemian Club; Athletic Club (Oakland); Sonoma Mission; Mechanics' Inst. Library (SF); Orange Co. (CA) Museum; Yosemite Museum.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Yesterday's Artists on the Monterey Peninsula; Views of Yosemite; From Frontier to Fire; California Design 1910; Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); Bay of SF, vol. 2, p. 223; California Art Research, 20 volumes; Death record.
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 William A. Karges Fine Art - Beverly Hills:
Chris Jorgensen was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1860, and moved to San Francisco with his mother when he was a boy. He studied there at the School of Design, where he’d later teach. He established a studio on Post Street, finding commercial success. He married the daughter of a prominent San Francisco family, and with his bride traveled the state extensively.

He completed a series of California Mission paintings, and painted in Yosemite for many years. His home there is now used by the U.S. Forest Service. Following a move to Carmel, Jorgensen settled in Piedmont, California, where he continued to paint until his death in 1935.

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Christian Jorgensen is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Painters of Grand Canyon

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