William Wendt: Transcendentalist

Sycamores, 1918William Wendt (American, 1865-1946)Oil on canvas; 26 3/4 x 42 3/4 x 2 1/4 in.F7678Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionTranscendental State of MindThe great transcendentalists had come and gone by the time the William Wendt first arrived in California with a brush in hand and love of nature in heart and began painting this golden...
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Legally Fond: The Old Orange County Courthouse

Orange County Courthouse after Completion, 20th CenturyUnknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 10 x 8 in.7019.21Gift of Mr. Terry Edward Stephenson, Sr.Justice Just IsThis year has been one of remembrance and celebration as 2019 marks Santa Ana’s sesquicentennial. With posts on the city’s earliest land holders, the origins of...
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Prequel to the Origin Story: A Prehistory of Santa Ana’s Foundation

Don Bernardo Yorba’s House, c. 1910Unknown Photographer; Santa Ana Canyon, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8 x 10 in.8478Gift of Mr. Terry Edward Stephenson, Sr.Variations of a CityIn both Forged in Fire Safety: The First Santa Ana Fire Department and A Beginner’s Guide to Santa Ana Street Names the Bowers Blog has previously looked at the ...
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Officers and Offices: History of the Santa Ana Police Department

Motorcycle Officer, early 20th CenturyUnknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 10 x 8 in.37057.2Leo Tiede Photography CollectionPolice StoryCalifornia at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries was very much a part of the frontier, with justice often poorly exacted by unqualified parties. In its earliest iterat...
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A Beginner’s Guide to Santa Ana Street Names

Map of Santa Ana, 1915Clyde D. Butler and Geo L. Bates; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPaper and ink; 20 × 25 5/8 in.17481Bowers Museum Permanent CollectionSpurgeons, Surgeons and Spurred DonsFor those of us who live in, work in or enjoy any of the myriad offerings of Santa Ana, we have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours traversing the county seat’s m...
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Fourth and Fourth: Santa Ana’s 4th Street Independence Day Celebrations

School Children on Float, July 4, 1890Unknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8 x 5 in.2983Gift of Mr. William McPhersonJuly the Fourth Be with YouThere is a lot to like about the Fourth of July. Family, friends and neighbors all come together for a day of celebrating this country’s birth with sumptuous barbeque, plentiful dr...
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Gone Fishing: Catching Neptune’s Bounty on Father’s Day

Fishing Hook, late 19th to early 20th CenturyIñupiaq culture; Seward Peninsula Area, AlaskaWalrus ivory, lead, iron and cotton thread; 2 1/4 × 4 1/8 in.39352Gift of Winifred P. MorganLet’s See What’s Biting, ChampSome dads fit all the clichés. They are handy when something needs fixing, quick with a pun but otherwise tactful enough to let mom handl...
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Forged in Fire Safety: The First Santa Ana Fire Department

Hook and Ladder Volunteer Firemen of Santa Ana, May 1, 1888Photo by B. F. Conaway; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8.5 x 5 ¼ in. 2821Gift of John LuxembourgerSunny Santa Ana CaliforniaWilliam H. Spurgeon and his wife spent a few years in the early 1860s living in Los Angeles until she passed away. Heartbroken, he moved back to the East to ...
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To the Trinity and Beyond: Jesus at the Bowers

Pilgrimage Souvenir, 19th CenturyJerusalem, modern-day IsraelMother-of-pearl; 8 ½ x 8 ½ in.31521Gift of Mrs. John CarruthersGetting a Rise out of SpringSpring is a time of rebirth. Winter’s chill recedes, new flowers bloom and trees seemingly come back from the dead. Branches which for all the world appeared to be deceased are given Lazaran life, q...
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Thomas Hunt: A Legacy Remembered

Detail of Untitled, c. 1924Thomas Hunt (Canadian-born American, 1882-1938)Oil on paper on board; 10 x 12 in.F7742Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionAnti-Entropic RelayLegacy is without a doubt one of the constant thought worms throughout history, and we can all agree that it is not distributed in equal measure to the deceased. While it is per...
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Saint Ann’s Inn: Santa Ana’s Love Shack

Saint Ann's Inn and Grounds, 1920sEdward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print35558.7Gift of Mr. Eldon G. McNeilValentine’s DayIt’s that day we love to love! Measured in bouquets of flowers, squares of chocolate and cards swarming with weapon-toting winged babies, Valentine’s Day is truly a holiday cherubbed by a...
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Plein to See: Nellie Moulton and the Bequest that Began It All

Detail of Coastline, early 20th CenturyNellie Gail Moulton (American, 1878-1972)Oil on masonite; 12 × 14 × 3/4 in.F7736Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionStevens Start-offOne of the lesser-known facts about the Bowers Museum’s remarkable Fine Art Collection is that we have only paid for one painting. The rest of the Bowers’ 1543 currently acc...
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Hewes-ed from Stone

Busts of David Hewes and Franklina Gray, 1877Giuseppe Andreoni (Italian, 19th Century); Pisa, ItalyMarble; Various Dimensions2697, 32782Gifts of Mrs. D. Eyman Huff and Mr. & Mrs. James A. MooreTotal BustWith American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times having just left the Bowers Museum this past weekend, the portraits section of the much-b...
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Two Photographers Outside of Orange, California

Bowers Museum’s Bell Tower, c. 1932Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 11 x 14 in.38107.11Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. BordersSame Blog, New HomeThis week the Bowers Blog is happy to announce a re-release on a new platform! As we continue to improve the way in which we share our collections, we take t...
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Three Vignettes of Frank Coburn

Street Scene in the Rain, c.1921Frank Coburn (American, 1862-1938)Oil on canvas; 23 × 27 1/2 in.3953Gift of Georgia DeLong in memory of her brother, Frank CoburnBeginningFor painters like Frank Coburn, capturing beauty began with finding it in places where few others could see it. Much of Coburn’s oeuvre is represented by the bright and picturesque...
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The Magnificent Floyd

Floyd E. Stewart Performing Magic, c. 1936Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; Various Dimensions36247.3,.4Gift of Mrs. Weston WalkerApril Fools bring May LOL’sIt takes a rare skill to fool others, especially in a way which delights and entertains rather than leaves one somehow feeling cheated. The prefe...
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Shamrocks for a Glam Box: Placentia Mutual's Signature Brand

Shamrock Brand Citrus Crate Label, 1930-1939Western Lithograph Company (American, 1908-1985); Los Angeles, CaliforniaChromolithograph; 10 x 10 ¾ in.82.59.2Gift of Mr. Andrew E. CoenSt. Patrick’s DayStereotypical symbols like leprechauns and their pots of gold may seem hackneyed, but the shamrock—characteristically a species of three-leaf clover—sta...
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On My Honor: The Legacy of the Boy Scouts of America

Weapons for Liberty, 1917Joseph Leyendecker (German-born American, 1874-1951)Paper; 35 x 25 ½ in. 96.41.5Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Weston F. SpragueMost everyone wants to be involved in something greater than themselves, and for many boys and young men in the United States it has historically been the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). On August 1, 1907, Robe...
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Silkwood: The Glue that brought Orange County Together

Silkwood 2:07, 1893Ella Congdon (American, 1871 - 1920)Oil on canvasR.2014.4.100Bowers Museum CollectionsFirst Annual Fair Life Membership TicketOrange County Fair Association; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPaper; 2 x 4 1/2 in.36164.1Gift of Miss Gertrude MontgomeryThe creation of Orange County in 1889 was not universally well received, and its unfolding le...
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