Etched in Memory: Urban Views from the John S. Drum Collection
January 28 – May 28, 2004
Etched in Memory: Urban Views from the John S. Drum Collection featureed the work of San Francisco natives Armin Hansen and Lawrence Scammon, the Austrian émigré John Joseph Winkler, and Massachusetts-born Loren Roberta Barton, among others. While most California artists of the time were creating traditional landscapes, these artists chose to focus on the burgeoning life of cities, their architecture, ethnic neighborhoods, and bustling waterfronts. With a scarcity for vegetation or human beings, these works relay a longing for the receding world of nature that was quickly being replaced in California of the 1910s and 20s.
The collection was purchased from John Sylvester Drum (1872-1957), a prominent attorney, who served as president of the American Trust Corporation as well as president of the American Bankers’ Association and sat on the boards of Pacific Gas & Electric and the Yosemite Valley Railroad Company. Along with C. Templeton Crocker he was in part responsible for reviving the moribund California Historical Society in 1922 and was made a Knight of Malta by the pope in 1929 for his church philanthropy. Today the etchings in the Drum collection form an invaluable historical record of California’s cities in the transitory phase from village to metropolis.