On September 15, 1915 several
artists and their friends gathered together and created a new organization
called the San Diego Art Guild. Many of these people were former
members of the original San Diego Art Association. This reorganization
took place in the Club Room of the Hotel Barstow. Twenty people
were present and thirty-one listed as charter members in the Treasurer's
Ledger and Cash Book.
Edna Mae Scofield of the old
art association and Art League was considered the spirit of this
newly formed organization. She was assisted by Alice Klauber and
Charles A. Fries. Other members of the former art association who
helped create the Guild were, Ammi Farnham, Leda Klauber, George
Marston, Annie Pierce, Albert and Anna Valentien, Mary Belle Williams,
and Maurice Braun. Daniel Cleveland was made the first honorary
member of the Guild on October 28, 1915.
The Art Guild's first official
meeting took place in the "B" street School on December
16, 1915. Henry Lord Gay, architect, presided over the meeting as
the first President, Rebecca Rogers served as Secretary, and Maurice
Braun, founder of the San Diego Academy of Fine Arts
(1910), as Treasurer. There is a slight discrepancy in this account.
Donal Hord, who became the Guild's youngest member at the age of
17 in 1919, said that Ammi Farnham was the first President.
Klauber (This link goes to
San Diegos First Lady of the Arts: Alice
Ellen Klauber & Friends by Martin E. Petersen)
article written about the Guild was published in the San Diego Sun,
December 24, 1915:
WORKERS FORM A GUILD
Here to Promote Social, Civic Improvements.
"One of the most recent
associations to organize in San Diego is the San Diego Art Guild,
an association of art workers, organized 'to combine the efforts
of members of each distinctive field of the fine arts and allied
arts, in a united guild; to forward all interests tending to artistic
appreciation in the social and civic refinements and improvements
of the city.' The direction and guidance of the policy and progress
of the guild is vested exclusively in its active membership, which
is composed solely of representatives of their respective professions,
as painters, sculptors, architects, and the allied arts
The active members hold meetings
every two weeks in the B street school building. Open meetings are
held quarterly, when associate members form part of the entertainment
and reception committee. Exhibitions of the work of these artists
are planned for the near future....
The founding of the San Diego
Art Guild is a step forward in the appreciation and growth of aesthetic
developments within the environments of the city and it gives promise
of becoming one of the most flourishing organizations in Southern
The San Diego Art Guild decided
at its regular meeting on Saturday, January 15, 1916 to have a reception
and opening exhibition of its members work. Many invitations were
sent out. This was the first exhibition of the Guild. It was reviewed
in the San Diego Union, Sunday morning, January 23, 1916:
DIEGO GUILD TO CONTINUE ART WORK EXHIBITION
"The First exhibition
of the San Diego Art Guild at the B street school building, which
opened on January 15, 1916, will be continued through the present
week, no admission being charged.
The exhibit of San Diego artists
has attracted much attention, and the daily attendance at the two
periods - from 10 to 4 and from 7 to 9:30 - has been gratifying
to those in charge.
The old school building has
been transferred into a credible art gallery, decorated with flowers
and draperies and well lighted. Local artists are well represented
with a number of large canvases and many smaller ones.
C. A. Fries has several landscapes
showing his skill in depicting charming bits of Southern California
scenery with which he keeps close touch
Maurice Braun, whose paintings
have won him a wider reputation, has contributed three large canvases
A. M. Farnham shows 'Shacks',
'The Sea' and 'Evening', the latter reflecting a benign gentleness
characteristic of the work of this artist
Miss Edna Scofield shows four
examples of her art in the field of sculpture. 'May I Come In?'
being the most popular, depicting a little fellow peeping through
Mead and Requa and Henry Lord Gay have some examples of architecture
The guild plans to hold meetings
quarterly, the next one being scheduled for some time in April."
Several of the other artists
participating in this first Guild exhibition were, Mrs. Mary B.
Williams, Miss Rebecca Rogers, Mrs. Allen, Carl F. Hobby, Miss Barstow,
Mrs. V. H. Arthurs, Leo Browne, W. H. C. Pierce, A. R. Valentien,
Mrs. M. M. Jones, Miss Hazel Howard, and Miss Ruth Townsend.
The Guild continued to exhibit
twice a year and hold its regular meetings as well as art classes
and lectures at the B Street School until March 1919. It also held
exhibitions of members work in miscellaneous places in and beyond
San Diego County.
In Daniel Cleveland's papers,
donated to the Fine Art Society and presently in possession of the
SDMA library, is his copy of the original bylaws of the Guild. As
these best describe the purpose, structure, and governance of the
Guild they are reprinted below:
The corporate name of this
organization shall be "The San Diego Art Guild".
1. The San Diego Art Guild
is an Association of art workers, organized to combine the efforts
of members of each distinctive field of the Fine Arts, and allied
Arts, in a united Guild; to forward all interests tending to artistic
appreciation, in the social and civic refinements and improvements
of the city. To invite moral and physical aid of every citizen who
desires aesthetic developments within the environments of the City
of San Diego.
2. The Society consists of
"Active", "Associate", and "Honorary"
3. The direction and guidance
of the policy and progress of The San Diego Art Guild, is vested
exclusively in its active membership, which will elect annually
an Executive Committee, for its own members.
4. Membership in the Active,
Associate, or Honorary classes, is elective, and nominations, and
elections are made only, by and through the members of the Active
class, and known as the Active Chapter, which is comprised solely
of representatives of their respective professions, as Painters,
Sculptors, Architects, and of the allied arts. Associate and Honorary
members are friends of art, and participants in social and educational
efforts, in unison with the objects of the Society.
Any amendments to this Constitution
and By-Laws shall require fifteen day's notice to every Active member,
and a two-thirds vote of the total membership, either by personal
or letter ballot.
1. The active Chapter shall
be composed of two-thirds Painters and Sculptors, and a one-third
of the kindred professions.
2. The Executive Committee
shall consist of a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.
3. Annual meeting will be
held Thursday of the first week in September.
The Active Chapter, shall
elect annually, chairmen, or full membership to all Standing Committees
4. Auditing Committee
shall consist of three members. Chairman, to be elected, who will
appoint two other members, and report names to the Secretary, who
will keep a record of all Memberships of committees.
5. Credential Committee
on membership will consist of five members, all to be elected at
the annual meeting.
6. Committee on Finance
shall consist of three members, Chairman to be elected, who will
appoint two other members, and report same to Secretary.
7. Committee on Current
Interests and Topics to consist of five members, to be elected
at the annual meeting.
8. Temporary Committees.
There will be a committee on Exhibition to consist of five members
or more, to be elected not less than four weeks prior to a given
date, who will prepare and direct all arrangements for the special
events, report progress at the next regular meeting, and make a
final report just after the close of the Exhibition.
There will be a committee
on Entertainment and Reception, to consist of seven or more members,
to be elected not less than four days prior to a given date, who
will prepare, and preside at such selected event, and will report
progress at the next regular meeting, and will make a final report
just after the close of such Entertainment and Reception.
Associate members may form part of the Entertainment and Reception
9. In the absence of the Chairman,
a majority vote of the membership present will elect a temporary
chairman to preside at the meeting.
10. Eleven active members
shall constitute a quorum.
11. The Active Chapter shall
hold meetings fortnightly.
12. Open meetings of The
San Diego Art Guild will be held quarterly.
13. Initiation Fee for incoming
members to be $1.00.
Annual Dues $2.00, payable
quarterly, or by option at once.
"All the Arts are now
more than ever, brothers and sisters, and long ago should have been
united in one temple of taste, intellect and talent."
Links go to photos on The San
Diego History Center werbsite.