Class of Winter 1933  

William Henry Price
b. Irwin, Pennsylvania, 1864
d. Pasadena, California, 1940
Towering Peaks, Sierras (or Towering Peaks), 1933
Oil on canvas
39 x 33 inches

Artists proliferated in California during the 1920s, when regional economic prosperity fueled cultural development. William Henry Price moved to Laguna Beach in 1920 at the age of 56. Although he had little formal art training, Price advanced quickly and, by 1933, had gained some notoriety. However, the country was suffering one of the very worst years of the Depression. The GHS seniors were only able to raise enough funds to purchase one painting at the time of the banquet that year. It was not until December that the Winter Class was finally able to acquire Towering Peaks, Sierras. Price executed the painting almost entirely using a palette knife, introducing texture and bold color to capture the mass, atmosphere, and majesty of a peak in the Sierra rising above a lake of bright cobalt blue.

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.