The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
Spring 1988, Volume 34, Number 2
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor
Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
Images of a Golden Era: Paintings of Historical California.
By Ben Abril. Glendale: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1987. Color Plates, drawings, 125 Pages. $40.00.
Images of a Golden Era is a handsome coffee table book containing color reproductions of over fifty paintings of California views by Ben Abril. Some of the views are of well known subjects, such as Bodie or Mission San Luis Rey, but many are of less well known sites, such as the Whitney Canyon, the Griffith Ranch or the Tropico Gold Mine. Each plate is accompanied by a paragraph-long comment on the picture by the author. The paintings are done in Abril’s impressionistic style, and are usually painted in the out-of-doors natural setting. He uses strong lines and bold primary colors. A widely recognized artist, Abril is in “Who’s Who in American Art,” has had many exhibitions, and is in the permanent collection of seven major museums. Probably his most important contribution has been a series of oils on Bunker Hill in Los Angeles, thirty five of which were bought by the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Afficionados of California history and impressionistic paintings will want this book.