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Lorenzo Palmer Latimer San Francisco earthquake letters, 1906.
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Lorenzo Palmer Latimer San Francisco earthquake letters, 1906


The collection consists of eight letters sent to Lorenzo Palmer Latimer after the San Francisco earthquake and fire in the spring of 1906. One is from his brother, Hugh N. N. Latimer, and the remainder are from his students including: Marie W. Black, Josephine Chapman Lawten, E. B. Folsom, Blanche Trenwith, Laura B. Coffin, Pearl Weisbrod and Lillian A. Howard. They were sent from several Bay Area cities and the dates range from April 18th to May 14th. All have been transcribed.
The first letter dated April 28 is from Latimer's brother, Hugh, in Windsor, California. He reports on local conditions: "Windsor was pretty badly shaken up. Lindsay's building was demolished so that it will all have to be torn down. The new masons building is a wreck and nearly every chimney in the country was shaken down." He also extends his hospitality: "Our house is ready and open to receive you whenever you are ready to come; and you can make your home with us as long as you please."
The letters from his students send messages of concern and caring, as well as sympathy for the loss of his work. This from Josephine Chapman Lawten is typical: "Having just learned your address I hasten to write you and extend my sympathy to you for your losses. I had hoped you had saved some of your lovely pictures from the fire but find you were not allowed to on account of the damage caused by the earthquake. I am very sorry indeed, but you have some thing to be thankful for inasmuch as your family is uninjured and your residence was saved from burning. I was indeed glad to hear of that."
Several students offer assistance as well. For instance, Lillian A. Howard suggests: "Now Mr. Latimer I want to ask a favor of you. Will you allow me to send you my box of water colors and a lot of brushes? I laid in a full supply when I was back in San Francisco and it would give me so much pleasure to send them to you. I have duplicates of colors and brushes. I know it will be a very short time until you can get them but you might want to use them even if you have plenty of other things to do just now. I can send paper too."
But the most cheering news comes from Mrs. E. B. Folsom who reports: "It is with pleasure that I write to tell you that I have one of your pictures, safe and sound. I only wish it was a dozen, or one of your most valued ones. Between illness and being away from town, I have not been able to get down to the studio, and the Tuesday before the quake I was going down town and was going to take the picture down to you when I left the house I forgot it, remembering just as I got down the hill, and I said [to] myself, "I'll not go back but take it down next time." I am glad that I didn't. Hasn't this been something terrific! I am thankful that we are all alive."


1906 (issued)


Latimer, Lorenzo Palmer -- 1857-1941 -- Correspondence
Artists -- California -- Correspondence
San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, Calif., 1906 -- Personal narratives
Earthquakes -- California -- San Francisco -- Personal narratives
Fires -- California -- San Francisco -- Personal narratives


Lorenzo Palmer Latimer was born on Oct. 22, 1857 in Gold Hill, Placer County. He was educated at the McClure Military Academy in Oakland and studied art at the California School of Design in San Francisco under Virgil Williams. He later taught at that school while living in the city.
In 1906 Latimer lost many works in the earthquake and fire. He relocated to Berkeley where he established a studio and taught at the University of California. He was also active in Reno, Nevada, where he founded the Latimer Art Club in 1921 and helped establish the Nevada Art Gallery (now the Nevada Museum of Art) in 1931. He exhibited widely and was a member of the Bay Region Art Association and the San Francisco Art Association as well as the Bohemian Club, the Press Club and the Sequoia Club. He died on Jan. 14, 1941 in Berkeley.
Primarily a watercolorist, Latimer is best known for his landscapes of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada. For an example of his work, see http://www.askart.com/photos/BUT1291999/5361.jpg
Lorenzo Palmer Latimer San Francisco earthquake letters
Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.

Physical Description:

8 items







Copyright Note:

Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.