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Christopher Blossom - SAN FRANCISCO ON THE EVE OF THE GOLD RUSH 1847 -  L.E.PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop

by Christopher Blossom

Original Retail Price $150.00
May Not Reflect Current Price

Limited Edition of: 950
Image Size: 27 3/4"w x 15 5/8"h.
Published: October 1987

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San Francisco Bay is the most important port on the Pacific coast of the United States. Amazingly, it remained unknown until it was discovered by an overland expedition launched by the Spanish to counter the encroachment of Russian fur traders in 1769.

San Francisco was first known as Yerba Buena. As late as 1835, the cove was uninhabited until William Richardson erected the first dwelling, a tent, later a house. From this point, a small hamlet slowly established itself around the cove.

In 1846, Captain Montgomery sailed into San Francisco Bay and took possession of Yerba Buena for the United States in the war with Mexico. The American flag was raised over what was to become known as Portsmouth Square. The year 1847 brought a new name, San Francisco. No one could have foreseen the next few years' events of the Gold Rush which virtually overnight transformed this tiny town into a major city.

Christopher Blossom
When a child has a father and grandfather who are both well known illustrators, it is likely the offspring will also become an artist. And when a boy starts to sail at the age of six, it is also likely that the artist might choose the sea and sailing ships as his subject. Such was the case for Christopher Blossom, who, by the time he left the Parsons School of Design and Robert Bourkeís Design Studio, could visualize a finished boat from only its plansóand draw the craft from any angle. Before Blossom was twenty, he had sailed under square rig aboard the brigantine Young America. Known for his complex, detailed compositions of ships at sea, Blossom combines his appreciation for the beauty and the menace of the sea with his love of maritime history and ship construction. Before Blossom paints a vessel, he is likely to study the shipís blueprint to learn about it hull design, length, tonnage and deck layout. Blossomís historically accurate ships and harbors are combined with color, light and composition to capture the mood of a voyage and convey the essence of the seafaring experience. At the age of twenty, he won a Gold Medal at the Society of Illustrators Scholarship Exhibition. His dual vocation of experiencing the sea and then painting both nautical history and some of the greatest modern places to sail, was truly launched. Blossom became both a charter member and an artist of the American Society of Marine Artists, serving as its president from 1983 to 1986. His awards include a Gold Medal from the National Academy of Western Art for his painting of ships in Monterey. Saluted as an undisputed master, Blossom has exhibited his art at the Gilcrease Museum, the Colorado Museum of History, the prestigious Prix de West Invitational and the Artists of America show. Blossom continues to achieve artistic honors including the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award at the 2001 Prix de West. Almost the only time he isnít painting is when he is sailing, visiting ports of call in Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, the Bahamas, California and Washington state. Blossom, who recently spent a year sailing around the Caribbean with his wife and two sons says of his love, "Itís not a hobby, itís a way of life. When I look at the ocean, I get the same feeling pilots must get when they look to the sky."


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