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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Columns in the Courtyard at Villa Montalvo

In my previous post I showed you my artist friends at Villa Montalvo. If you turn to see what they're sketching, you'll see this lovely pillared walkway. I particularly liked the way the shadows created the same beautiful patterns on the pillars.

Here is another portion of the Wikipedia article:

In 1911, James D. Phelan, a three-term mayor of San Francisco, California who would go on to be California's first popularly elected US Senator, purchased 160 acres (65 ha) in the Saratoga countryside and foothills.

Phelan began construction of the mansion in 1912. The initial supervising architect was William Curlett. When he died in 1914, his son, Alex Curlett, took over supervision along with partner Charles E. Gottschalk. The construction of the building was completed that same year.

Upon his death, Phelan bequeathed Montalvo thus:

"I would like the property at Saratoga, California, known as Villa Montalvo, to be maintained as a public park open under reasonable restrictions, the buildings and grounds immediately surrounding the same to be used as far as possible for the development of art, literature, music, and architecture by promising students."
Though I may never live in a mansion like this one, I'm so glad it's being shared with fellow artists and with the community. I'm thankful for Senator Phelan's gracious intent. I love the concerts and plays given at Villa Montalvo and I know it has inspired me to paint.

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