December 14, 2002 - Front Page
Eliot, the daughter of artist Duval Eliot has come
from her home in Spain to curate an exhibit, at
the Pasadena School of fine Art at 314 So. Mentor
Ave. (Walt Mancini
was in first Art Center class
Exhibit displays Eliot works
PASADENA -- Images of a California long
gone Pasadena's Raymond Station, a blacksmith working his forge,
boys splashing in a mountain swimming hole line the walls of the
old Pasadena School of Fine Art.
These works, by renowned Pasadena artist
Duval Eliot, have been brought together for the first time since
dozens were stolen after her death at 81 in 1990.
And "The Lost Classics of Duval
Eliot' are in the same studio now part of a private home where she
and other artists worked from the 1940s on.
Eliot's daughter, Tamara, 61, said she
came from her home in Spain in 1991 to find her mother's house
vandalized, paintings and portfolios missing.
"Thank God they didn't end up in
flea markets, I found them in shops for collectibles and
antiques,' said Eliot, who spent weeks going around with a police
officer tracking them down. "I had photographs, and I'd say,
'This is my mother's work. It was stolen.'
"Slowly, slowly, I found them all,
except some of the beautiful things she painted in Africa in
1981,' Eliot said.
Works by Duval Eliot, a member of Art
Center College of Design's first class in 1930, hang in the Los
Angeles County Museum of Art, the Gene Autry Western Heritage
Museum and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington,
D.C., among others.
"I think she was one of the most
steady, sincere, devoted and talented artists at work in this
community of artists,' said Jae Carmichael, an award-winning
painter and sculptor and former museum co-owner.
Carmichael recalls the days when a group
of working artists, including Eliot, would meet there on
"People would come in and drop a
dollar in the hat for the model fee,' she said. "There would
be from 10 to 25 of them most well-known artists and they couldn't
hire a model for a buck.'
More than 500 of Eliot's works are on
display, framed and in portfolios. She worked in oils,
watercolors, acrylics, ink and pencil, her styles ranging from
abstract to representational, some pieces showing the influence of
her abilities as an illustrator.
"She was constantly searching ...
she experimented, she didn't get stuck in her ways,' Carmichael
There's an easy answer to anyone who
questions Eliot's lack of a signature style, Carmichael said.
"Just refer them to Picasso he went through one phase after
another ... Her paintings hold up against anyone else's paintings
of the period.'
Tamara Eliot who as a a belly dancer
performed all over Europe, Africa and the Middle East took a few
of her mother's paintings to Spain for exhibit in 1989. Three
weeks later they were lost in a flood, one of several that
devastated her home and put plans for a retrospective of her
mother's art on hold until now.
Duval Eliot was prolific, and although
scores of her paintings sold when she was alive, Tamara Eliot said
she has too many to keep.
"Everything (on show) is for sale,'
she said, saying the prices would range from the low hundreds to
the thousands of dollars. "I'd need the Getty mansion to hang
The exhibit at 314. S. Mentor Ave. will
have its opening reception from 5 to 9 p.m. today and will run
through Jan. 31.
-- Janette Williams can be reached at
(626) 578-6300, Ext. 4436, or by e-mail at email@example.com.