Alice Brown Chittenden

Information and Paintings

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San Francisco Chronicle, December 2, 1917, p.20,c.3


Artists and Their Work

By Anna Cora Winchell


Children at play along the beaches on these California autumn days have been a subject of extreme delight to Alice Chittenden and she has caught their pretty, unconscious poses with a fidelity that is altogether appealing. Near the Cliff House shores little folk from mere babyhood to ten or twelve years, may be seen romping or tumbling  or boldly defying an approaching surf. Everyone who goes knows what children do at such a place and for that reason those acquainted with child antics will more fully appreciate Mrs. Chittenden’s pictures.

Scenically, the canvases have attractiveness too, for the grace of the waves is well depicted and the “life” of the sands is all there, but even more lovely is the sunshine element. Mrs. Chittenden having woven into several sketches the luster of a bright day with its accompaniment of clear, blue waters and a hint of the distant hills.

Another canvas shows a pale gray day in which the water is correspondingly tinged, though the sands radiate warmth, and the children’s shadows are so marked as to indicate the sun’s power piercing its way.

Some of the groups have been found at Santa Cruz and others along Alameda’s beaches. The latter views are very charming in composition and animation.

Flowers have been a favored subject with Mrs. Chittenden for many years, and her roses are not to be surpassed for delicacy and life-likeness. But a new type of flora engaged her attention during the past summer revealing species beautiful in themselves and exquisitely handled. They were painted in their native soil of the desert near the mouth of the Colorado River. Wonderful and magnificent cacti of varicolored blossoms have posed for the artist. Wild hollyhocks and a desert rose splendidly petaled are among those fine pictures of the semi-tropical and semi-arid lands of which lie within forty miles or so of the Salton Sea.

The larger portion of these pictures – children and flowers – are to be seen in Mrs. Chittenden’s own studio on California Street, though a canvas or two are also to be found in the Courvoisier galleries.


Source: San Francisco Main Library