Belle Baranceanu – A Retrospective.
Essays by Bram Dijkstra and Anne Weaver. Chronology by Bruce Kamerling. La Jolla: University of California, San Diego Mandeville Gallery, 1985. Illustrations. Bibliographies. 64 Pages. $12.50 Paperback.
Belle Baranceanu – A Retrospective is the catalog for an exhibit of the San Diego artist called “San Diego’s leading modernist painter.” Baranceanu was trained in Chicago in the 1920s, and moved permanently to San Diego in the 1930s. In San Diego she taught at The Francis Parker School and several other institutions, and continued to produce works in several mediums. Baranceanu is probably best known locally as a mural painter and as an illustrator. Many of her murals were Depression Era works; the most famous were at La Jolla High School, the La Jolla post office building, at Roosevelt Junior High School, and at the Old Town Community Church. Sadly, most have been destroyed. The catalog includes, in addition to numerous color and black and white reproductions of Baranceanu’s works, an essay on her art by Bram Dijkstra and another on her murals by Anne Weaver. Both essays include helpful bibliographies. There is also a chronology prepared by San Diego Historical Society Curator, Bruce Kamerling, who has been important in preserving Baranceanu’s papers, memorabilia and some art works. Anyone interested in the history of art in San Diego, or in modernist art of the 1920s and 1930s, should acquire this publication.