E. Charlton Fortune

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Euphemia Charlton Fortune was born in Sausalito, California on January 15, 1885. She did not like the name Euphemia and was known as "Effie" to her friends. As a child she was influenced by her visits to her father's home in Scotland.

Her father died of pulmonary disease in 1894 and subsequently, was sent back to Scotland to attend school at St. Margaret’s Convent School in Edinburgh. Effie's time there provided her with important social and political connections that allowed her to later exhibit her artworks in Scotland as a professional painter in the 1920s.

She began her art studies in 1904 at John’s Wood School of Art in London. She returned to the United States in 1905 and culminated her training at the San Francisco Institute of Art with Arthur F. Matthews and befriended fellow artists Armin Hansen and Ethel McAllister. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 destroyed many of her works. She moved to Carmel after the earthquake and in 1907, with the financial support of her Scottish relatives, she moved to New York to enroll in the Art Students League where she received four scholarships and special recognition for her painting A Poet’s Reverie, 1907. In 1910, she and her mother returned to San Francisco, where her friend and former teacher at the Art Students League, Luis Mora, got her a job illustrating for Sunset magazine.

Effie had her first professional exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh where she exhibited 27 of her paintings. She studied with William Merritt Chase and incorporated both Chase’s Impressionist theories with her favorite teacher, Frank DuMond’s, concern for light, color, shadow, and movement through the atmosphere. In 1916, she taught a few workshops on the Monterey Peninsula. She was one of the first artists to introduce the bright palettes of Impressionism to California and her style was considered modern by conservatives.

In 1928, Effie founded the Monterey Guild, which was committed to the revival of liturgical art and the beautification of Catholic churches in the United States. She completely abandoned easel painting in the mid-1930s, devoting all her energy to the guild. In 1942, she moved the guild to Kansas City, Missouri and completed the design of the Sanctuary Mosaic in the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Kansas City. In 1956 she received The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, a gold medal, from Pope Pius XII for the mosaic. It has been hailed by some as the greatest single artistic achievement of Catholic America.

In 1958, she retired and ended her work with the Monterey Guild. She traveled to Europe and eventually moved back to Carmel in 1963. She died on May 15, 1969 at the age of 84.

Member: Carmel Art Association; California Art Club; San Francisco Art Association; Society of Scottish Artists; Monterey Guild.

Exhibited: Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 1911, 1922; Liverpool Art Gallery, London, 1911; San Francisco Institute of Art, 1913, 1919; Schussler Galleries, San Francisco, 1913, 1914; Sketch Club, San Francisco; Vickery Atkins and Torrey Galleries, San Francisco, 1913; Merrick Reynolds Gallery, Los Angeles, 1914; Panama-California Exposition (silver medal), San Diego, 1915; San Francisco Art Association, award, 1917; Los Angeles Museum of History, Science, and Art, 1919; Carmel Arts and Crafts Club, first prize, 1920; Gieves Gallery, London, 1920; Helgesen Gallery, San Francisco, 1920; Society of Scottish Artists, 1920, 1923, 1926; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 1920, 1922; Monterey Artists’ Exhibition, Monterey, 1922; Royal Academy, London, 1922, 1932, 1933; Royal Glasgow Institute, Scotland, 1922; Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, England, 1923; Salon des Beaux-Arts, Paris; Salon des Artists Français, Paris, silver medal, 1924; Carnegie Institute, Pennsylvania, 1925; National Academy of Design, New York, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1931,1932; Philadelphia Academy, Philadelphia, 1925, 1932; Buffalo Art Museum, New York, 1926; Charcoal Club, Baltimore, Maryland, 1925; Rochester Art Gallery, 1926; Société des Artsites Français, Paris, 1926, 1927, 1934; Galerie Beaux Arts, San Francisco, 1927; Oakland Art Gallery, 1927; Sacramento State Fair, 1927, 1928, 1929; Society of Western Museums, 1928; Fine Art Society, Seattle Washington, 1929; California Art Exhibition, Santa Cruz, honorable mention, 1930; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1930; San Francisco Art Association, 1930, 1931.

Works held: Oakland Museum; de Young Museum; Shasta State Historical Park; Monterey Museum of Art; Monterey History and Art Association; Irvine Museum.

Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.
E. Charlton Fortune: 1885-1969 by Camel Art Association. Print.
St. Gaudens, Maurine. Emerging from the Shadows: A Survey of Women Working in California, 1860-1960. Vol 2. 2015. Print.