Class of Summer 1928

Hanson Duvall Puthuff
b. Waverly, Missouri, 1875
d. Corona del Mar, California, 1972
Mountains of Majesty (or Hills of Majesty), c. 1928
Oil on canvas
36 x 40 inches

Hanson Puthuff was a mentor of sorts to the Gardena High School students and Principal Whitely; he and his artist wife, May Longest Puthuff, suggested founding the annual Purchase Prize Exhibit in 1928. It is fitting that Puthuff’s Mountains of Majesty won first prize in the inaugural exhibit. Many of the early California landscape painters, like Puthuff, were drawn to the mountains, seeking an experience of rugged nature and a scene of grandeur to record. Here, the contrast between the distant mountains enveloped in a cool and flattening atmospheric haze and the well-defined, though rather minimal nature below, reinforces the mountains’ power and majesty.

GIFTED: Collecting the Art of California at Gardena High School, 1919-1956 is organized by the GHS Art Collection, Inc, in association with the Gardena High School Student Body and curated by Susan M. Anderson.