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Class of 1919                

Ralph Davison Miller
b. Cincinnati, Ohio, 1858
d. Los Angeles, 1945
Valley of the Santa Clara, 1918
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 inches 

Ralph Davison Miller took great pride in the fact that the Gardena High School students, beginning their custom of selecting the best work of a California painter each year, chose his painting as the outstanding California exemplar to start the collection. To make their selection, the students visited Miller in his studio in the Arroyo Seco area of Pasadena, where the GHS art program would make annual excursions. Valley of the Santa Clara portrays the verdant agricultural valley irrigated by the Santa Clara River, which flows from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The loosely brushed foreground gives an impression of wild, fecund nature, while the middle ground, a luminous meadow, suggests a heavenly pasture and leads the eye upward.

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.