The discovery of a relative, relatively speaking
Last night, I discovered that my great-uncle, Charles Percy Austin, whom I had known was an artist, is in fact a minor part of the southern california Arts and Crafts movement, he being one of the founders of the Laguna Beach Art Association and the inheritor (or purchaser) of the Granville Redmond Studio. Whether this studio was an imaginary phenomenon, whether it was the studio supposedly established for Redmond by Charlie himself at the Chaplin Studios in Hollywood or whether it was in Santa Monica, where I have an address on Hill St. for Austin, I do not know. His paintings, such as I have seen, are pretty unremarkable. He is said to have lived for a time – or at least to have been a frequent visitor – at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, from whence the sparrows come and go, and he painted a picture in California Plein Aire (have I got that right?) style of a Mary Pickford wedding at the Mission. I’ll go find it on the web and post it up here and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Somewhere in my dad’s effects, I’ve got a picture of Charles Percy in black and white with his dancer wife in front of a very Arts and Crafts looking bungalow. Could this be the Granville Redmond studio?
His paintings seem to sell in the two to three thousand dollar range. Granville’s paintings seem to be up in the half million area. Granville was entirely deaf, and, like Charles P., schooled in Paris. I have one of Charles Percy’s paintings, pretty small. My dad was a reticent, angry man who seemed entirely estranged from his family. I never met my grandfather, much less Great-Uncle Chuckie P. My aged mother only remembers that he painted a series of paintings that were displayed on cardboard display advertising in drug stores of the forties portraying the history of Pharmacy, or something like it. He died in ’48, the year the Blonde Bombshell is born, the year I remember my dad bringing home commemorative coins celebrating the centennial of the State of California.
Who is this guy, Charles Percy Austin?
Posted by Phil Austin on 7/9/02; 7:24:06 PM
from the The Department of Mysteries dept.