Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Schindlers in Carmel, 1924

(Click on images to enlarge)
Mission San Carlos Borremeo de Carmelo, August 1924. Photograph by R. M. Schindler. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Papers.

Pauline Schindler, 1935. Portrait by Dorothea Lange. Courtesy Oakland Museum of Art.

R. M. Schindler, 1927, Edward Weston portrait. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara, University Art Museum, Architecture and Design Collections, R.M. Schindler Collection.

Johan Hagemeyer self-portrait, 1923. From Lorenz, Richard, Johan Hagemeyer: A Lifetime of Camera Portraits in Johan Hagemeyer, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Research Series No. 16, June 1982, p. 4. 

It is well-established that the quaint seaside village of Carmel-by-the-Sea played a major role in the life of photographer Edward Weston. However very little is known about the intertwined Carmel activities of mercurial radical modernist Pauline Gibling Schindler and her enigmatic avant-garde architect husband Rudolph (see above) whom Weston met in Los Angeles in 1921 shortly after their arrival from Chicago and remained friends with the rest of his life. (For much on the initial meeting of the Westons and the Schindlers see my "The Schindlers and the Westons and the Walt Whitman School"). In this article I will attempt to lay the foundation of how the Schindlers and Westons and their mutual friends, including Johan Hagemeyer, were attracted to what Franklin Walker coined "The Seacoast of Bohemia" for the title of his 1966 Book Club of California classic (see below). 

The Seacoast of Bohemia by Franklin Walker, Peregrine Smith edition, 1973. Front cover, Carmel group on the rocks, (top): Charmian London, Alice MacGowan, Grace MacGowan Cooke, grandmother of Edward Weston's second wife, Charis Wilson, (bottom): George Sterling, Jimmy Hopper, Jack London, Carrie Sterling. Photo by Arnold Genthe, 1906. Huntington Library.

 The Seacoast of Bohemia by Franklin Walker, Peregrine Smith edition, 1973. Back cover, Some Carmelites at the Bohemian Grove, 1915, (top): Jack London, Harry Leon Wilson, father of  Edward Weston's second wife Charis Wilson, (bottom): George Sterling, Stewart Edward White, George Ade, Ernest Peixotto.

Willard Huntington Wright, 1913 by Stanton MacDonald Wright. From National Portrait Gallery.

By 1910 Carmel-by-the-Sea, California on the scenic Monterey Peninsula had gained much notoriety and renown as a haven for an avant-garde, bohemian colony of artists, novelists, poets, playwrights, actors, gurus, intelligentsia and radicals. During May of that year the then literary critic for the Los Angeles TimesWilliam Huntington Wright, spent a week in Carmel absorbing the local lore and gossip and penned a lengthy piece that headlined section two of the Sunday edition with the scintillating title "Hotbed of Social Culture, Vortex of Erotic Erudition." (Los Angeles Times, May 22, 1910, pp. II-1, 8). The tongue-in-cheek article used much poetic license in caricaturing the more famous denizens and their lifestyles (see below). The above portrait of Wright, who would gain later acclaim for his Philo Vance crime novels under the pen name S. S. Van Dine, was painted by his brother Stanton MacDonald Wright in Paris in 1913 while he was on the way to Munich to view an exhibition of the work of his brother and Morgan Russell who the year before had founded the Synchronism Movement. In hindsight it seems inevitable that the village would eventually attract the Westons and the Schindlers and their circle of like-minded friends.

The Carmelite's Picnic on Point Lobos, 1910. Cartoon by Gale. Left to right, Jack London, Alice MacGowan, Grace MacGowan Cooke, Upton Sinclair, Xavier Martinez, Mary Austin, George Sterling, Lucia Chamberlain, Fred Bechdolt, James Hopper, Fra Henry Lafler. From Wright, Willard Huntington, "Hotbed of Social Culture, Vortex of Erotic Erudition," Los Angeles Times, May 22, 1910, p. II-1, 8.

Harry Leon Wilson Residence, "Ocean Home," Carmel Highlands, built in 1910. Photographer, date and architect unknown. Courtesy Harrison Memorial Library Local History Room, Carmel. 

About the time the earlier Bohemian Grove photo of Weston's future father-in-law Harry Leon Wilson and his Carmel cronies Jack London and George Sterling was taken in 1915, Wilson was basking in his Carmel Highlands "Ocean Home" (see above) over the great success of his latest book, Ruggles of Red Gap, which was serialized beginning December 26, 1914 in The Saturday Evening Post. (Wikipedia). The book, dedicated to his young bride Helen MacGowan Cooke less than a year after the birth of daughter and Weston's future wife Charis, soon became a best selling novel. The book was also adapted for the Broadway stage as a musical the same year, and was made into a movie several times, most famously in 1935 starring Charles Laughton and Zazu Pitts shortly after Edward Weston took up housekeeping with Charis (see below poster).

"Ruggles of Red Gap" movie poster, 1935. From Wikipedia.

Helen MacGowan Cooke picking California golden poppies, Carmel Point, 1911. Arnold Genthe photo. Courtesy Library of Congress, Arnold Genthe Collection.

After appearing in a 1911 production together at Carmel's recently opened Forest Theaterthe following year the 44-year old Wilson married 16-year old Helen MacGowan Cooke (see above). The mature before her years Helen had also been courted by the likes of noted photographer Arnold GentheNoble Prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis, and his Yale class-mate, poet William Rose Benet (see below). (Through Another Lens: My Years with Edward Weston by Charis Wilson, North Point Press, 1998, pp. 18-20). Helen's attraction for older men (Genthe, 26-years, Lewis and Benet, 11 years and Wilson, 28 years) was clearly passed on to daughter Charis who, like Helen with Harry, was 28 years younger than Weston when they met in 1934.

Carmel beach picnic, 1909. Standing: Sinclair Lewis, Alice MacGowan, William Rose Benet. Seated: Helen MacGowan Cooke, Grace MacGowan Cooke, Miss Scannell, Kitty Cooke, Arthur Vachell. From Walker, p. 67.

R. M. Schindler in Taos, October 1915. Photo likely by Victor Higgins using Schindler's camera. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Papers. 

Also in 1915, Rudolph Schindler embarked upon a formative six-week tour of California and the Southwest during which he viewed the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco (PPIE), Panama-California Exposition in San Diego, Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon and the artist colony of Taos, New Mexico where he preceded Weston's first visit by 18 years. (For much more on this see my "Edward Weston and Mabel Dodge Luhan Remember D. H. Lawrence and Selected Caremel-Taos Connections."). 

Weston made his first visit to Carmel in 1915, likely while on his way to San Francisco to view his work hanging in the national Pictorial Photography Exhibition in the Palace of Liberal Arts at the PPIE (see below). (Conger, Amy, "Edward Weston: A Preface to the Carmel Years" in The Monterey Photographic Tradition: The Weston Years, Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, 1986, p. 5 and Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather, and the Bohemians of Los Angeles by Beth Gates Warren, Getty Publications, 2011, pp. 74-5). 

Palace of Liberal Arts, W. B. Faville, architect, Panama Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, September 1915. Photograph by R. M. Schindler. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Papers. 

Schindler likely viewed Weston's images while at the fair evidenced by his above photograph of the Palace of Liberal Arts. Weston made additional visits to Carmel in 1919, 1925 and at least twice in 1928 before Pauline Schindler heralded his permanent 1929 move from San Francisco in The Carmelite. (Conger, p. 5 and Schindler, Pauline, "Edward Weston on the Way," The CarmeliteDecember 26, 1928, p. 2. See my "Pauline Gibling Schindler: Vagabond Agent for Modernism" for more details.).

Palace of Fine Arts, Bernard Maybeck, architect, Panama Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, September 1915. Photograph by R. M. Schindler. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Papers.

Some of the other Exposition buildings which interested Schindler enough to photograph included the Palace of Fine Arts by Bernard Maybeck (see above), who would in 1926-7 design the Harrison Memorial Library in Carmel, and the California Building by later Los Angeles Public Library designer Bertram Goodhue (see below). (Author's note: Goodhue was also the lead architect for most of the buildings at the concurrent Panama-California Exposition in San Diego.).

The California Building, Bertram Goodhue, architect. Panama Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, September 1915. Photograph by R. M. Schindler. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Papers.

Ralph Fletcher Seymour letter to R. M. Schindler, March 14, 1924, recto. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Art Museum, Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Papers.

Ralph Fletcher Seymour letter to R. M. Schindler, March 14, 1924, verso. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Art Museum, Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Papers.

There is no record of Schindler having visited Carmel on this trip thus his first visit was likely in the summer of 1924. It is unclear whether his wife Pauline accompanied him but it seems most likely that she did. The trip was prompted by a string of correspondence (see above for example) with his good friend from Chicago, Ralph Fletcher Seymour (see below). Schindler likely met Seymour through Pauline, who with her college roommate Marian Da Camara lived with the Seymours in 1917-18 while they were teaching at a progressive school in Ravinia and were members with Harriet Seymour in the Ravinia Women's Club. Seymour was also close friends with fellow Chicago Fine Arts Building tenant and Schindler employer Frank Lloyd Wright, whose cement blocks he references in the above letter and fellow Cliff Dwellers Club member Louis Sullivan whom he helped support during his waning years. Seymour was planning to build a multi-phased compound at the end of Valley View Ave. at 17th St. across the street from the ocean on Carmel Point. (For much more on Seymour see my "R. M. Schindler, Richard Neutra and Louis Sullivan's Kindergarten Chats").

Ralph Fletcher Seymour, ca. 1912. From Caxton Club Journal Caxtonian, May 2011.

Having just completed work on the John Cooper Packard Residence in Pasadena, Schindler was commissioned by Helena Rubenstein to design interiors for her New York apartment and some remodeling work for her Greenwich, Connecticut residence. (For much more on Schindler client Rubenstein see my "The Schindlers and the Hollywood Art Association"). On his way to New York Schindler stopped over to visit Seymour and fellow Viennese architect and college mate Richard Neutra who was then working for Holabird & Roche on the Palmer House project before a brief stint with Wright at Taliesin and his and his wife Dione's early 1925 move to Schindler's Kings Road house. (For more details see my Chats). During his Chicago layover Seymour undoubtedly filled Schindler in on the glories of Carmel and the mansion that another Chicago mutual friend, noted Chicago attorney and Art Institute of Chicago habitue Henry F. Dickinson (see below), had just completed across the street from his property. 

Henry F. Dickinson, 1920. Photo by Lasswell. From Bench and Bar of Illinois, 1920 by edited by Leroy Hennesey, p. 119.

After Henry's retirement the Dickinsons relocated to Carmel in 1922 with their four children. They moved into their massive residence at the end of Isabella Ave. near the Seymour property on Carmel Point sometime around 1923. The house (see below) was designed by Dickinson himself and built by noted Carmel contractor M. J. Murphy. ("New Dickinson Home in Carmel," Carmel Pine Cone, n.d., ca. 1922-3). Dickinson would later help found the Carmel Music Society in 1926 and the Carmel Art Association in 1927 and served as it's first first vice-president. 

Mr. and Mrs. Henry F. Dickinson Residence, Isabella Ave. and Scenic Dr., Carmel, 1923. M. J. Murphy, contractor. "New Dickinson Home in Carmel," Carmel Pine Cone, n.d., ca. 1923. Courtesy Harrison Memorial Library Local History Room, Carmel. 

Upon returning from New York Schindler wasted no time in arranging an August trip to Carmel. Schindler possibly heard from Weston before he left for Mexico in 1923 of Johan Hagemeyer's planned Carmel studio or from Seymour via the Dickinsons of its completion. He and Pauline also likely heard of the completion of Edward Kuster's Theatre of the Golden Bough (see below) and it's directorship by yet another Chicago friend Maurice Browne and his wife Ellen Van Volkenburg. (For much more on Browne and Van Volkenburg see my "Schindlers-Westons-Kashevaroff-Cage").

Theatre of the Golden Bough, Ted Kuster and Maurice Browne, 1924.

Schindler corresponded with Henry Dickinson's wife Edith to find out whether Johan's studio would be available for an exhibition of his architecture during his and Pauline's planned visit. (See my "Schindlers-Westons-Kashevaroff-Cage" for much more on Browne). Schindler met and bonded with Weston and Hagemeyer during 1921-22, having much in common with their approach towards women and sexual affairs. It is most likely through Hagemeyer that Schindler had also landed his former horticultural employer Paul Popenoe as a client for whom he designed a residence near the town of Coachella in 1922. (See my "The Schindlers and  the Westons and the Walt Whitman School" for more details).

Edith's reply to Schindler indicated that Johan would provide his studio free of charge and would hold about 75 people for a lecture. She also asked for Schindler's biographical information for publicizing his exhibition and lecture in Carmel, Monterey, Salinas and San Francisco. She further provided him with the schedule of upcoming performances at Carmel's Forest Theater and Theatre of the Golden Bough to help him select the dates for his exhibition. (Edith Dickinson letter to R. M. Schindler, July 14, 1924, Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Art Museum, Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Papers). The Schindlers possibly stayed with the Dickinsons and/or Hagemeyer during their visit.

It is not known when Hagemeyer first discovered Carmel but he had a one-man show in fellow Dutchman Tilly Polak's Mission Tea House in November of 1922. At the age of 18 in Holland, Polak contracted a bad case of wanderlust after reading erstwhile Carmelite Jack London's Valley of the Moon, the story of a working-class couple, struggling laborers in turn-of-the-century Oakland who, tired of city life, searched Central and Northern California for a suitable farmland. The book is notable for the scenes in which the proletarian hero enjoys fellowship with the artists' colony in Carmel, and he settles in the Valley of the Moon(Wikipedia).

Tilly Polak ad, The Western Honey Bee, April 1921, p. 120.

Polak's first stop upon leaving Holland was the Dutch East Indies which was followed by a stint in Australia where she took a six-month course in bee-keeping at the Agricultural College in Melbourne. Finding the macho society of Melbourne unappealing, she continued to Canada's Pacific Northwest. Canada's winters being too cold for her, she  moved again to the San Francisco Bay area and, unable to find steady work as an apiarist (see above), finally settled in Carmel in 1922. ("Tilly Polak Plans a Quiet Country Life in Her Carmel Valley Place," Carmel Pine Cone, n.d. ca. 1943). 

Mission Tea House exterior, ca. 1921-2. Photograph by L. S. Slevin, courtesy of Pat Hathaway, Historic California Views. From Carmel: A History in Architecture by Kent Seavey, Arcadia, 2007, p. 15.

After Polak's move to Carmel she soon stumbled upon the Carmel Mission's old orchardist's house which had been recently restored and converted into a favorite local dining establishment called the Mission Tea House (see above). Intrigued by the horticulturist background of the structure, Polak took out a lease on the business, but knowing nothing about running a tea room she proceeded to lose her shirt. Shortly after her tea room debacle she was able to find a market for Dutch silver and glass she had begun importing, possibly having initial success at Carmel's annual Arts and Crafts Club Dutch Market (see below), and opened an antiques and gift shop on Ocean Ave. in downtown Carmel in 1923. ("Tilly Polak Plans a Quiet Country Life in Her Carmel Valley Place," Carmel Pine Cone, n.d. ca. 1943). 

Sinclair Lewis at the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club Annual Dutch Market, 1909. From The Seacoast of Bohemia by Franklin Walker, Peregrine Smith edition, 1973, p. 77.

Beekeeper, 1911. Johan Hagemeyer. From Lorenz, Richard, Johan Hagemeyer: A Lifetime of Camera Portraits in Johan Hagemeyer, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Research Series No. 16, June 1982, p. 6, Courtesy Bancroft Library, University of California.

After moving to San Francisco in 1919 Hagemeyer eventually met Polak. The two had much in common besides their nationality as both had started out studying and working in horticulture (see above for example). Hagemeyer reminisced,
"Yes, I knew everybody. Through someone I met a Dutch woman coming from Java, the Dutch East Indies in those days, and she was going to live in Camel and have a little tea room. She was quite an artist type, cultured. ... Tillie Pollack [sic]. She had a tea room there. I had already done something, in portraiture, some children but mostly landscapes. And she asked me to give her a show there, so I did (see exhibition space below). I stayed with someone, I don't know who. They were all very nice and hospitable in Carmel in those days. I had a show and I also had to give a lecture on it, which of course was a total flop because I cannot lecture. I maybe stood there for, it seems five or ten hours, before I could utter a word. I had asked Tillie Pollack [sic] beforehand, 'For heaven's sake, if I can't get anything out, start asking questions.' So she did. She felt I was perspiring and going nuts. I couldn't get anything out. I didn't know where to start. She began to ask me questions and then I got to rolling. It was very easy. I rubbed it into all the painters that they should take a look at some of the photographers' work." (Johan Hagemeyer: Photographer, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, An Interview Conducted by Corinne L. Gilb in 1955, p. 40).
Mission Tea House interior, ca. 1921-2. Photograph by L. S. Slevin, courtesy of Pat Hathaway, Historic California Views. From Carmel: A History in Architecture by Kent Seavey, Arcadia, 2007, p. 16.

Hagemeyer's exhibition was well-reviewed in both the local and San Francisco press. The Carmel Pine Cone reviewer wrote,
"If the Carmel residents could but realize the treat in store for them their would be many a trip this week out to the Mission Tea House where Johan Hagemeyer, pictorial photographer, is conducting an exhibit. There seem s to be no doubt that Mr. Hagemeyer stands at the head of this comparatively new school on this coast. His pictures are not photographs. They are interpretations. He uses the camera as a painter would use his brush. The mechanical or scientific instrument is lost sight of, it becomes merely the medium for expressing the artist's vision. ... Mr. Hagemeyer has been called an ultra-modernist. It is because he emphasizes the individual touch, the idea or intent that must be in every created thing, the essence of the producer, his or her individuality, imagination, etc." ("Hagemeyer Exhibit of Art Photography Is Notable Collection," Carmel Pine Cone, November 4, 1922, p. 8).
Redfern Mason, July 28, 1932. Johan Hagemeyer photograph. Courtesy UC Berkeley Bancroft Library.

San Francisco art and music critic Redfern Mason (see above), who lived in Carmel from 1912-1914 with his former wife, noted author Grace Sartwell Mason opined, "Down in Carmel I ran across an artist in photography who has the right idea - Johan Hagemeyer. Here is a man who is content to be nature's interpreter, not a fakey improver of her methods." (Redfern Mason, San Francisco Examiner, December 31, 1922). Redfern also frequently reviewed and championed the San Francisco performances of former Carmelite Henry Cowell. (For more on Cowell and his disciple John Cage and Pauline Schindler, see my "Schindlers-Westons-Kashevaroff-Cage").

Carmel Arts and Crafts Club Annual Dutch Market, 1909.

Taking advantage and building upon the success of the annual Dutch Market (see above) sponsored by the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club, forerunner to the Carmel Art Association, Polak's antique and gift shop quickly prospered. She made annual buying trips back to her homeland and the rest of Europe which were religiously reported in the local press. For example, in a piece written shortly after Johan's studio opening: "Word has been received from Tilly Polak in Venice. She has been buying for her antique shop all through Holland, Switzerland and Italy, and at the time of writing was about to enter Austria. ..." ("She'll Be Here for The Follies," Carmel Pine Cone, March 29, 1924, p. 1).

Tilly Polak Antiques and Objets d'Art postcard recto, n.d., ca. 1930s. From EBay.

Like Polak, Hagemeyer was intrigued by Carmel's similarities with their native Holland, in terms of the scenery, the climate, and the architecture (see above for example). Liking what he saw of Carmel and it's surroundings during his Mission Tea House exhibition, Hagemeyer decided to build a photography studio on Ocean Avenue. About the time Tilly Polak opened her new antique shop Hagemeyer began building his studio. He reminisced in his oral history,
"Then, it looked so much like Holland. Not that I am so patriotic, but Holland is a very beautiful place, particularly where I used to live when I left my business. Many artists live there, musicians, philosophers. And Carmel and the dunes and the ocean and the pine trees, Dutch. So I said, I think this will be a good place for me. There was nobody there yet, four or five hundred people, So I looked around for a place to buy and twenty-five or thirty years later it turned out to be the best place in Carmel (see below). I didn't realize, it was away out in the woods. I had a little cottage built and I slept there, I cooked there, I photographed there, I developed, and finished." (Hagemeyer Oral History, p. 41).
Johan borrowed some money from his brother Hendrik, bought some land at the northeast corner of Ocean and Mountain View Avenues and commissioned San Francisco architect J. Francis Ward, a native Kiwi like his brother Hendrik's wife Dora, to design a cottage and studio. The local press chronicled the studio's progress, described it's design and architecture and reported that Hagemeyer planned to have "one man" exhibits in various mediums.  ("New Hagemeyer Studio Will Be Shrine of Art," Carmel Pine Cone, October 27, 1923, p. 1 and "Johan Hagemeyer Opens Fotocraft Studio," Carmel Pine Cone, February 16, 1924, p. 2).

Johan Hagemeyer Studio, northwest corner of Ocean and Mountain View Avenues, Carmel, J. Francis Ward, architect, 1923-4. Photo courtesy OAC and U.C. Berkeley Bancroft Library, Johan Hagemeyer Photo Collection.

In early 1924 Hagemeyer moved into his new studio which also doubled as Carmel's first art gallery. His inaugural exhibition was of the work of George Wilstack, a visiting artist from Lafayette, Indiana, held from March 9th through the 18th. ("First Exhibit in Hagemeyer Studio," Carmel Pine Cone, March 1, 1924, p. 8). The next show was for Miss Nellie Augusta Knopf, on sabbatical from her duties as director of art at the Illinois Women's College. The reviewer opens his piece with a description of "Johan Hagemeyer's quaint but lofty gallery"and ended with, "There lies upon a bench in a quiet corner of the studio a modest portfolio. It contains the choice and unique products of our host of the gallery, one of California's master photographers." ("Prominent Artist to Exhibit Here," Carmel Pine Cone, March 29, 1924, p. 1). During May Johan displayed the photography of Louis A. Goetz whose work was also shown alongside Weston's at the PPIE in San Francisco in 1915. ("Pictorial Photography at Hagemeyer Studio," Carmel Pine Cone, May 24, 1924, p. 9).

Hagemeyer hung an exhibition of prints by "modern masters" such as Cezanne, Gaugin, Leger, Rousseau and others in June. ("Modern Painters and Their Work," Carmel Pine Cone, June 21, 1924, p. 7). July found Johan at a party in honor of noted Carmel composer and later Pauline Schindler and Weston intimate Henry Cowell at the residence of Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous with the Carol Aronovici family, Hedwiga Reicher and others also in attendance. (See my "Schindlers-Westons-Kashevaroff-Cage" for more on Cowell, Weston and the Schindlers). (Author's note: The Schindlers met noted city planner Carol Aronovici through their involvement with the Hollywood Art Association in 1922-24. Aronovici was a partner with Schindler and Richard Neutra in their short-lived Architectural Group for Industry and Commerce in the late 1920s. Noted actress Reicher lived for awhile with the Aronovicis and also recited poetry at the Schindlers' Kings Road House at their legendary salons).

Schindler's "ultra-modern" architecture most likely adorned the gallery walls in August around the time Hagemeyer also exhibited the work of Weston mutual photographer friend from San Francisco, Anne Brigman (see below). Brigman stayed with the Aronovici's while her work was displayed by Johan. ("Pine Needles," Carmel Pine Cone, August 16, 1924, p. 8). 

 "Anne of the Crooked Halo," June 1920, photographer unknown. From left: Roi Partridge, Imogen Cunningham, Anne Brigman (standing), Johan Hagemeyer, Edward Weston, unknown man, (front) Roger Sturtevant and Dorothea Lange. Woman behind them unknown. From A Poetic Vision: The Photographs of Anne Brigman by Susan Ehrens, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1995, p. 83.

This history-packed 1920 image was taken on the occasion of Edward Weston's visit to San Francisco to see off Hagemeyer who would soon leave for an extended trip to Europe to avoid being arrested for his outspoken radical views. (Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather, and the Bohemians of Los Angeles, by Beth Gates Warren, Getty Publications, 2011, p. 187). The image's centerpiece, Anne Brigman was "looked up to" by her peers as being the only photographer on the West Coast accepted into Alfred Stieglitz's Photo-Secession Movement and featured in his influential Camera Work magazine. Roi Partridge was a noted etcher and wife Imogen Cunningham an emerging photographer of note who would later be part of Group f/64 with Weston, Ansel AdamsWillard Van DykeSonya Noskowiak, et al. 

Dorothea Lange, whose portrait of Pauline Schindler appears at the beginning of this piece, would also gain fame as a chronicler of the Great Depression. Pauline was one of the first to publish her now iconic Depression-era work. (Schindler, Pauline, "The Migrant Worker and Mobile Housing," Architect and Engineer, December 1935, pp. 50-52). Pauline would often feature the work of Weston, Hagemeyer, and Sturtevant on the cover of The Carmelite and reviewed exhibitions of their work along with that of Cunningham and Partridge and Lange's husband Maynard Dixon during her 1928-29 reign as publisher and editor-in-chief.

It is apparent that Schindler admired Johan's work and was given a tour of the local landmarks evidenced by the two below photographs taken from the exact same spot a few blocks east of the Seymour and Dickinson properties on Carmel Point. Hagemeyer's 1923 image below juxtaposed the foreground fence along Rio Road with the architectural elements and the cross of the Carmel Mission. Taken a year later with a much wider angle lens, Schindler's photo evokes in me a somewhat more ethereal feeling.

Mission San Carlos Borremeo de Carmelo, 1924. Photograph by Johan Hagemeyer photograph. Center for Creative Photography. Copyright Johan Hagemeyer Estate.

Mission San Carlos Borremeo de Carmelo, August 1924. Photograph by R. M. Schindler. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Papers.

From Carmel-By-The-Sea by Monica Hudson, Arcadia, 2006, p. 85. Note the multi-talented Kings Road salon attendee, actor and noted city planner Carol Aronovici on the left who, while wearing his City Planner hat, collaborated with Schindler and Richard Neutra on the 1928 Richmond, California Civic Center project and other projects under their Architectural Group for Commerce and Industry (AGICpartnership.

The Schindler's also possibly used the trip to reconnect with Browne whom Pauline had idolized at his Chicago Little Theatre Chicago. (See much more on Browne's West Coast activities at my "Schindlers-Westons-Kashevaroff-Cage"). They also likely reconnected with yet another friend and future partner for a brief time (with Richard Neutra) noted city planner Carol Aronovici (see above left). The Schindlers first met Aronovici while officers of the Hollywood Art Association in 1922-24. Aronovici was teaching a 1924 University of California Extension summer class in conjunction with Kuster's Theatre of the Golden Bough and acting in plays under Browne's direction. Hedwiga Reicher, who also had a cottage in Carmel by 1924, would perform at the Schindler Kings Road House in the late 1920s. (For much more on this see my "The Schindlers and the Hollywood Art Association").

Charles Sumner Greene Studio, Lincoln St. near 13th St., Carmel, Charles Sumner Greene, architect, 1923-4. Photo by John Crosse, 2012.

It is also likely that the Schindlers were introduced by the Dickinsons to architect Charles Sumner Greene and given a tour of his recently completed studio (see above) and his masterpiece, the recently completed James Residence in Carmel Highlands (see below). It is not known whether the Schindlers met the Jeffers on this trip but they certainly viewed has Tor House near the Greene Studio and the nearby recently completed Dickinson House and Kuster House on Carmel Point.

Tor House with Hawk Tower still under construction, 1924. Jeffers Tor House under construction, ca. 1924. From Carmel-by-the-Sea Blogspot.

D. L. James Residence, "Seaward," Carmel Highlands, 1918-1922. Charles Sumner Greene, architect. Photo by E. O. Hoppe from Amazon.

Tropico Potteries, Inc. ad featuring the D. L. James House by Charles Sumner Greene, 1924. Architect & Engineer, January 1924, p. 21.

Greene's James House was featured in a Tropico Potteries ad in January 1924 (see above). Coincidentally, Schindler friends Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather, Tina Modotti and Johan Hagemeyer photographed the Tropico Potteries factory on April 15, 1923 (see below). (Author's note: The Tropico factory was purchased by Gladding McBean later the same year. Ironically, Pauline Schindler and Edward Weston would often attend piano recitals together at the James Residence, Charles Greene's Studio and other Carmel venues during her editorship tenure at The Carmelite in 1928-29. For details see my "Schindlers-Westons-Kashevaroff-Cage.").

Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather and Tina Modotti walking towards the Tropico Potteries tile factory, April 1923. George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, 1974:0061:0144. From Warren, p. 286.

Professor How Could You! by Harry Leon Wilson, Cosmopolitan Book Corp., New York, 1924. From my collection.

While in Carmel Highlands the Schindlers possibly would have met author Harry Leon Wilson and his young wife Helen at their estate on Wildcat Hill across the highway from the Greene's James Residence which would in 1938 also become the home of his daughter and her by then partner Edward Weston. Or perhaps after a perfomance at the Theatre of the Golden Bough the Dickinson's may have introduced the Schindlers to the Wilsons. Wilson's latest novel Professor How Could You! published that year may have been in the local bookstore during their visit. 

Tor House, Carmel Point, Robinson Jeffers. Photographer unknown.

Kuster House, Carmel Point, Lee Gottfried, builder. (From Carmel: A History in Architecture by Kent Seavey, Arcadia, 2007, p. 68).

Court of the Golden Bough showing shops in front and entrance to the theatre in the rear, ca. 1924. Photo by L. Josselyn. From Carmel at Work and Play by Daisy F. Bostwick and Dorothea Castlehun, Seven Arts Press, Carmel, 1925, p. 86.

The year 1924 was pivotal in the development of Carmel's "old world" charm, the highlight being the completion of Edward Kuster's commercial shops in his Court of the Golden Bough (see above) and his Theatre of the Golden BoughTilly Polak moved her antique and gift shop into Kuster's Court in May, just before the theater's summer season began. ("Old Shop Opens in New Location," Carmel Pine Cone, May 17, 1924, p. 3). After the San Francisco and local press chronicled it's progress for months, the theater opened to much fanfare on June 6th with a gala opening performance of Maurice Browne's "The Mother of Gregory" starring his wife Ellen Van Volkenburg. (Bostic, Daisy, "Carmel Boasts of America's Best Equipped Studio Theater," San Francisco Bulletin, March 29, 1924 and "Opening of Theatre of the Golden Bough," Carmel Pine Cone, June 7, 1924, p. 1). 

After the opening night gala, Polak co-hosted a party at the Mission Tea House with Mr. and Mrs. Martin Flavin, Herbert Heron, Dr. and Mrs. (poet and artist Jeanne d'Orge) A. E. Burton and others for Ruth and Edward Kuster, the cast of the play and the faculty of the summer school.Honorees included future Schindler and Neutra partner Carol Aronovici, future Kings Road performer Hedwiga Reicher, Betty Merle Horst of the Denishawn Dance Company and others. ("After the Show," Carmel Pine Cone, June 14, 1924, p. 5). 

Catalog for Maurice Browne and Ellen Van Volkenburg's Summer School of the Art of the Theatre, 1924. Courtesy Harrison Memorial Library, Carmel.

Program for Henry Cowell concert at the Theatre of the Golden Bough, July 15, 1924. Courtesy Harrrison Memorial Library, Carmel.

By then a close friend of the Schindlers, frequent Carmel performer Henry Cowell also graced the stage of the Golden Bough six weeks after it opened (see above and below). The Schindlers possibly met Cowell through Weston's erstwhile lover and partner Margrethe Mather, who photographed Cowell and Richard Buhlig around the time they all met in the early 1920s. It was an eventful year for Cowell as he had his New York at Carnegie Hall debut only five months earlier.

Program for Henry Cowell concert at the Theatre of the Golden Bough, July 15, 1924. Courtesy Harrrison Memorial Library, Carmel.

Henry Cowell, ca. 1923. Margrethe Mather photo. From Margrethe Mather & Edward Weston: A Passionate Collaboration by Beth Gates Warren, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 2001, p. 111. (For much more on Cowell see my "Schindlers-Westons-Kashevaroff-Cage.").

Throughout the summer the local press included features centered upon Edward Kuster and the activities surrounding the Golden Bough including articles on Maurice Browne and Ellen Van Volkenburg and their on-going productions and 10-week summer drama school, Hedwiga Reicher and her poetry reading drama events, Carol Aronovici and other prominent University of California Extension summer faculty and their classes. Besides taking on acting roles during some of the summer's plays, Aronovici taught courses in "Immigration and Americanization," "Aspects of Social Progress," "Immigrant Backgrounds," and "The American City." ("Golden Bough U. C. Extension Course," Carmel Pine Cone," April 14, 1924, p. 1).

Playbill for The Princess Who Wouldn't Say Die, Theatre of the Golden Bough, August 7, 9, 10, 1924. 

Edith Emmons Kuster, ca. 1918-20. From a Denishawn Dance Company marketing brochure.

The Schindlers would most likely have been in attendance at one of the early August performances of "The Princess Who Wouldn't Say Die" under the direction of their friend Browne as the cast also included their friends Edith Dickinson and Carol Aronovici. They also likely knew Ted and Edith Kuster through close mutual Edward Weston friends Bertha Wardell, Martha Graham and Ruth St Denis (see below) for whom the Kusters had earlier been involved. St. Denis had taken Edith under her wing shortly after she married Kuster (see above for example). The cast also included Jadwiga Noskowiak, sister of Johan Hagemeyer's assistant Sonya, who would in 1930 become Weston's lover and apprentice. (For much more on these connections see my "Bertha Wardell Dances in Silence: Kings Road, Olive Hill and Carmel").

Ruth St. Denis to Edward Kuster, "To 'E. G." creator, builder, and director! The Golden Bough Theater, how grateful we all are! from his affectionate Ruth St. Denis, 1924." Courtesy Harrison Memorial Library.

It was around this same time Johan's brother Hendrik and his wife Dora and their two sons moved to Carmel where Hendrik was hired as a salesman by fellow Dutchman Polak. Dora (see below) was educated as a librarian in her native New Zealand. She opened the Woodside Library which helped serve the community until Bernard Maybeck's Harrison Memorial Library was completed in 1927. Hendrik would meet a tragic fate just two years later as he was killed in an auto accident while accompanying Tilly Polak on a San Francisco business trip. Polak failed to negotiate a turn on wet pavement as they approached the San Juan Grade and the car overturned smashing vertabrae in Hendrik's neck and severing his spinal chord. The ever-after guilt-ridden Polak was uninjured. ("Last Sad Rites for Hagemeyer," Carmel Pine Cone, December 10, 1926, p. 1). 

Dora Hagemeyer, n.d., ca. 1935. Photo by Edward Weston. Center for Creative Photography.

Even though the Schindler's 1924 Carmel trip never resulted in an architectural commission, it definitely planted a seed in Pauline's mind for her to return to seek a new life after leaving her husband in 1927. During her publishing and editorship tenure of the town's liberal alternative newspaper The Carmelite 1928-9 she enlisted the help of Edward Weston, Dora Hagemeyer, Carol Aronovici, Edith Dickinson, Lincoln Steffens and his wife Ella Winter and others to put out the highly regarded modernist paper (see below masthead for example). (See also my "Pauline Gibling Schindler: Vagabond Agent for Modernism" for much more on late 1920s Carmel and my "Edward Weston and Mabel Dodge Luhan Remember D. H. Lawrence" for much more on early 1930s Carmel).

The Carmelite editorial masthead, March 20, 1929, p. 8.

Hagemeyer's studio quickly became a bohemian hangout evidenced by the two-week visit by mutual friend with the Schindlers and Weston, Sadakichi Hartmann during November. Likely having heard a glowing report from Schindler on the virtues of Carmel upon his return, Hartmann got in touch with Johan and arranged his own lecture tour. The by then renowned sponger Hartmann lectured on "Japanese Art" at Johan's studio and the Arts and Crafts Hall and gave talks on the modern forms of poetry and rhythms at the homes of Roberta Balfour and Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous. ("Hartmann Will Return," Carmel Pine Cone, November 22, 1924, p. 4. For much more on Hartmann see my "Pauline Gibling Schindler: Vagabond Agent for Modernism").

Weston would first visit Hagemeyer in Carmel in January 1925 between his two Mexican sojourns. This visit presaged Weston's rental of the studio from Johan between 1929 and 1931. Weston wrote to Tina Modotti in Mexico from Carmel of his reunion with Johan, 
"Johan and I! You know what that means to me? - of course you do! In his attic, - the rain falling through the pines outside, conversation intense and vital inside: my craving to show him my work satisfied, his response, arguments on technique, approach, our quarrel on 'definition'. We leave tomorrow for San Francisco. I am glad, you know how restless I become. Besides I am being pursued by a 'poetess' (Jeanne d'Orge?) and feel quite uncomfortable, even embarrassed, the wooing is so open! I'm sure it's much easier for a woman to say 'no' than for a man, one feels like being polite, or accommodating." (The Daybooks of Edward Weston, Vol. I, January 29, 1925, p. 116).
Tilly Polak ad, The Carmelite, September 11, 1929, p. 3.

Weston undoubtedly met Tilly Polak on this visit and helped her arrange through Tina a buying trip to Mexico City which she embarked upon sometime in February or March. Weston in San Francisco related to Johan in Carmel Tina's comments upon meeting Tilly,
"Tina writes of Tilly "She really has an exquisite soul and very sensitive ... have taken a great liking to her - even more than that - I feel a deep kinship with her. ... About Charlot - Miss Polak met him - she spent a whole afternoon looking at his work and was overwhelmed by it. She and Charlot were immediately attracted to each other." (Edward Weston letter to Johan Hagemeyer, March 19, 1925. Courtesy Weston to Hagemeyer Correspondence, Nancy Newhall Papers, Getty Research Institute).
Tina hit it off so well with Tilly in Mexico City that she paid her a special visit in Carmel in early 1926 while on her way back to Mexico from San Francisco where she had been visiting her seriously ill mother. (Tina Modotti: Photographer and Revolutionary by Margaret Hooks, HarperCollins, 1995, p. 126). 

Johan Hagemeyer Studio ad, Carmel City Directory, 1925. Courtesy Harrison Memorial Library Local History Room, Carmel. 

Kees Van Neil, 1933. Photo by Edward Weston. © 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents.

Numerous Carmel contacts resulted in nibbles for Schindler but none ever panned out. For example Tilly Polak extolled Schindler's virtues to Dutch compatriot Kees Van Neil (see above), the pioneering marine biologist stationed at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove and tried to arrange a meeting of the minds. (See below letter). (For more on Hopkins and fellow Pacific Grove marine biologist Ed Ricketts see my "Schindlers-Westons-Kashevaroff-Cage").

Tilly Polak, letter to R. M. Schindler, October 2, 1931. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Papers.

Kees Van Neil, 1945. Photo by Johan Hagemeyer. From Calisphere, University of California.

Mission San Carlos Borremeo de Carmelo, 1924. Photograph by R. M. Schindler. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Papers.


The idea for this article came about when I ran across the 1924 Schindler photos of the Carmel Mission (see above), a few blocks from the Dickinson and Seymour properties and as an outgrowth of my "R. M. Schindler, Richard Neutra and Louis Sullivan's Kindergarten Chats" article. While publisher and editor of The Carmelite, Pauline Schindler reviewed piano recitals of  later John Cage mentors and Weston portrait sitters such as Henry Cowell, Richard Buhlig, Dane Rudhyar and Imre Wiesshaus at the Dickinson’s house and Charles Greene’s studio with Carmelite contributing editor Weston more likely than not in attendance(See my "Schindlers-Westons-Kashevaroff-Cage" for much more on this). 

"Carmel's Christmas Festival" and "Tor House" by Stanley Wood. The Carmelite, December 12, 1928, front cover.

Edith Dickinson was an early Carmelite staff member under Pauline, as was Dora Hagemeyer, and Henry was one of the founding board members, with Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous, of the Carmel Music Society, and Carmel Art Association which Henry briefly headed. Pauline reported on the activities of both groups during her tenure as editor and publisher of The Carmelite (see above for example). The Dickinsons also befriended Carmel "royalty" such as John and Molly O'Shea, the D. L. Jameses, Robinson and Una Jeffers and Lincoln Steffens and his wife Ella Winter. (See my "Edward Weston and Mabel Dodge Luhan Remember D. H. Lawrence" for much more on this). Seymour finished his summer cottage and exhibited and lectured on his etchings at the Denny-Watrous Gallery during the early 1930s.

After Pauline left Carmel in 1930, she and her husband would separately return periodically and stay either at the Dickinsons, the Seymours or with Weston. Pauline continued to contribute to The Carmelite for a few years and Rudolph would lecture on and exhibit his work in both Carmel and San Francisco. RMS's visits often held the promise of a romantic liaison facilitated by Weston's renowned parties. (See my "Schindlers-Westons-Kashevaroff-Cage" for example). 

Tilly Polak, ca. 1943. From Otto, Janie, "Tilly Polak Plans a Quiet Country Life in Her Carmel Valley Place," Carmel Pine Cone, n.d., ca. 1943. Courtesy Harrison Memorial Library Local History Room, Carmel. 

Tilly Polak (see above) would go on to become one of the more prominent residents of Carmel's cultural and social circles. Pauline wrote a lengthy article "Tilly Polak and Her New Shop" in the May 2, 1928 issue of The Carmelite after most likely first befriending her during her 1924 visit. Tilly's business and social activities were regularly featured in the local press. Polak was also the employer of Johan Hagemeyer's former assistant Sonya Noskowiak when Weston moved to Carmel in January 1929. Sonya and Edward soon met and the rest is history. (See DaybooksII, September 14, 1929, p. 132).

After the tragic death of her husband Hendrik, Dora Hagemeyer would in 1931 marry Harvey Bostwick Hurd Comstock, brother of the noted designer of Carmel's quaint "Hansel and Gretel" style houses Hugh Comstock and Carmel artist Catherine Comstock Seideneck. Dora Hagemeyer was also a writer and regular conrtibutor to the Carmel Pine Cone, the Carmel Cymbal and the Carmelite and authored over a dozen volumes of poetry.