Association For The Advancement Of Truth In Art

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Clarence King the morning of the climb.

Clarence King the morning of the climb.



ON the evening of the twenty-
seventh of January, in the present year,
a number of persons met at 32 Waverly
Place, in the city of New York. Be-
lieving in the overwhelming power of
the Truth, especially in Art, they had
for some time seen the necessity of a
united effort to revive true Art in
America, and had assembled at this
time to take counsel together, and if
thought proper to organize an Associa-
tion for the better promotion of the
end just stated.”

This was written in ‘The New Path’ Vol. 1, No. 1 (May, 1863), pp. 11-12. The Founding Father of this association and the American Pre-Raphaelites, Clarence King, has led be up a long path to a mountain named after him. It looks like Lonely Mountain with Alpenglow that is associated with a range of mountain called the Rose Garden.

The original building at 72 Waverly Place, is no more. On this lot stands the  Silver Center for Art and Science. Across the street is Washington Park where many famous Folk Singers were born. When I was seventeen, I lived six blocks away no 13th. Street.

No sooner was he the president of the ATTA, then Clarence went West to California to be with the California Geological Survey, thus beginning his illustrious career as a scientist. This is so key, because religious fanatics in the Muslim and Christian faith, are destroying art – and science! For this reason I am going to publish an Art Book wherein I declare Artists, Writers, Photographers, and Scientists a Protected Cosmology. I will be writing a proposal to Congressman Sam Farr of Carmel about the Lone Cypress Tree National Park and Preserve where Artists are legally declared Human Beings.

Indiginous Calfirorians and their Culture will be protected. This includes the Bohemians who were born here, or wandered to the West Coast as a Creative Vagabond. Indeed, I will make the case that artists are a race of indigenous people who are at home when they recognize, or create a way of life that suits their needs and means of living and creating. Just as there are church steeples all over American and the World, so will there be a Creative Sanctuary that will enjoy the same Constitutional Rights afforded to religious organization.

I will be sending a proposal to the Buck Institute for funding the founding of a Creative Legal Team dedicated to the preservation of Artists – as Scientists. There needs to be a study on how the World of Law can be integrated into the World of Art and Science. In 1978 I went as a member of the Upstrair Arts Association to Sacramento to back the Resale Legislation. I consulted the Bay Area for the Arts about a invention. What went wrong with executor Sydney Morris’s handling of the Weston Family Photographers, and the Creative Benton Family, needs to be studied by Lovers of the Law so such a travesty never occur again.

Clarence King followed in the path of ‘The Pathfinder’,  John Freemont. In 1969 I declared myself a New Pre-Raphaelite and did a large canvas of Rena Easton. When Christine Rosamond Benton saw a photo of this painting in 1972, it inspired her to take up art. In months she was world famous. Clarence fell in love with Mount Shasta that some consider the most spiritual place on earth.

Below is a photo of my mother, Rosemary, and her sister, June Rice, holding Native American baskets that I believe were owned by the photographer, George Wharton James who was the editor of ‘Out West’ magazine that published stories by my grandfather, Royal Rosamond. ‘Camping on Anacapa’ was one of them. Below are photos taken on Santa Cruz Island. My grandmother, Mary Magdalene Rosamond, is sitting under a tree with writers of ‘Black Mask’ magazine. Note the man with a gun. These photos predate the beautiful images of the Weston Family that will forever be connected to the Rosamond, via bad litigation and management of two important Creative Legacies, they forever filed in the Superior Court of Monterey. I suggest all those who have impeded my climb up Rose Mountain, send me an apology and express their willingness to see the restoration of my relationship with my grandson, Tyler Hunt – who I promised a rose garden.

This new cosmology will be neutral. May I suggest ‘Basket Weavers of the World’ for the reason this is a spiritual science born of necessity. Photography is a science, as is Computer Art. Basket Weaving is a New World Invention. If it is your desire to throw in two loaves of bread and a couple of fish in order to feed the multitude, be my guest. Art is a means of seeing into the future.

Come to Rose Mountain

Jon Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

Copyright 2015


amacap2 anac9 anaca7Rosamonds 1917 June & Bonnie 2 Rosamonds 1919 June & Bonnieana3 ana4 anancapap2

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Brett Weston as the “child genius of American photography.” He was the second of the four sons of photographer Edward Weston and Flora Chandler.

Two extensions of this term are implicit in this study: first, Ruskin,
although not a member of the Brotherhood, was so closely associated with
them in the minds of the American Pre-Raphaelites that frequent reference
must be made to him; and, secondly, although the actual P.R.B. organization
existed for little more than five years, investigation of the continuing careers
of its members and of such later associates as William Morris is of course

Mount Shasta as a Visual Resource

Clarence King as Artist and Scientist: 1863

Return to Mount Shasta home page

Clarence King (1842-1901)

Clarence King was a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Truth in Art. Also known as the American Pre-Raphaelites, this group of educated men at first was composed of two artists, two geologists, two architects, and two lawyers. Articles of organization for the group were signed in New York in February of 1863, with Clarence King being the elected secretary of the group. And although Kings association with the group was in a formal sense short-lived, for by October of the same year he was in California with the California Geological Survey beginning his illustrious career as a scientist, it is nonetheless true that he followed and lived by the principles of truth in art expounded by the Society.

The Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art was inspired by the art writings of the English Philosopher John Ruskin. Ruskin, who was among other things an artist and a prolific professional art critic, had written several books, foremost among them the Elements of Drawing, in which he states, “The chief aim and bent of the following system is to obtain, first, a perfectly patient, and, to the utmost of the pupil’s power, a delicate method of work, such as may ensure his seeing truly.” Ruskins’s own art underscored his desire to portray objects as they are, even single stones and leaves were to be seen as small exercises in portraiture. This philosophy of accurate realism was to a large extent a revelation and an inspiration to some but not all English and American artists.

Clarence King 'In a Mountain Camp' courtesy of the Library of Congress American Memory Historical Collections. The early California Geological Survey surveyed Mount Shasta twice, the first time in September of 1862, and the second in October of 1863. Clarence King, who would later organize the entire United States Geological Survey and be its first chief, joined the California Survey as a volunteer for the 1863 trip. King was then a fresh graduate from Yale, and he came west armed with a letter of introduction from James D. Dana, the eminent Yale geologist69. Dana, it will be recalled, was the first geologist, in 1841 as a member of the Wilkes expedition, to come to Mount Shasta.

One litle known but important aspect of King’s college background was his close association with a group of artists and scientists who embraced the ideas of the English art philosopher John Ruskin.70 King remained deeply passionate about art all of his life. His art group at Yale, the Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art, was nick-named ‘the American Pre-Raphaelites’, after their contemporaries in England, the English Pre-Raphaelite painters. The basic philosophy was to return to simplicity and practicality in art.

In 1863, as a young man, King made his first ascent of a western peak; it was Mount Lassen. Scrambling to the top with other members of the California Geological Survey, they beheld the incredible panorama of most of northern California, including Mount Shasta bold and bright to the north. King is recorded as having said, “What would Ruskin have said if he had seen this!”.71

After exploring Lassen, the group moved up the Pit River and around the east of Mount Shasta and on to Yreka. They explored the region for most of October 1863, until the rains came. Some of King’s drawings are still in existence. The sketch he made of Mount Lassen has been published72. It is likely that he also drew Mount Shasta, especially because the party spent nearly a month in the region. King was only a fair draftsman, if one judges by the appearance of the sketch he made of Lassen, but he was a superb writer, and it is in this regard that his artistic sensibilities are most apparent.

While in his early forties Hill read John Ruskin’s Modern Painters, and became fascinated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The Pre-Raphaelite movement’s combination of realism with increased emotional content appealed to Hill. Hill championed Pre-Raphaelite painting methods in the United States, but was less fascinated with their ideals. in 1863, with art critic Clarence Cook, geologist Clarence King, and architect Russell Sturgis, Hill helped to found the Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art. For the remainder of Hill’s life he focussed upon landscapes, mostly of the mountainous areas of New England and New York state.


The Ark upon the mountain
The Dove and Branch upon the sea
The hammers of iniquity
beat upon my forgotten tomb
I am awake upon the turbulant waters

My enemies cast lots
and blame me for their sins
while God’s friends
read me on the Day of Atonement
so all will be saved
so all will be united in peace

The sun went down on me
so long ago
The vine that grew over my head
has wilted in the desert of forgetfulness
But, there on a mountian
a purple haze
a rosy afterglow
in a King’s rosegarden atop a mount
that bid noble knights to climb hither
that beckon knights to sever a thread
and once again
be brave


A video posted on YouTube July 9 shows a tomb being destroyed with a sledgehammer which government officials said was “almost certainly” the tomb of Biblical prophet Jonah.

Today I discovered the mountain that graced the header of this blog for several years is not Mount Tamalpias, but a range of mountains in the Alps where in a vision the Dwarf-King Lauren bid brave knights to come do battle in his Rosegarten. There is a thread that protects this garden that is broken. Consider the names Rosemont and Rougemont, and the Rose Thread I have been following in this blog for years. I have arrived. Who am I?

Believing I was born on the Day of Atonement, my mother, Rosemary, named me after John the Baptist. If I took the surname, Rosamond, I would be ‘The Gift of God – The Rose of the World’.

Unto my family I have been the Scapegoat. They commit the crimes, I do the time. This family tradition goes way back because there is a Roth in our family, and a family full of alcoholics renders most members – BLAMELESS – but the Scapegoat.

Rosemary told me she had a vision while in labour that she told herself she must not forget. She forgot, to her consternation. Then, come the fight over how my name would be spelled. When a nurse out a H in JON my mother was furious and refused to call me JOHN. For years I have wondered to myself if the name she wanted to give me, was JONAH. The Book of Jonah is read on Yom Kippur.

Jonah Presco

Being estranged from his family, very little history about Roy Reuben Rosamond was passed on to his children and grandchildren. I never met my grandfather, who may have known George James and Charles Lummis, the publisher of Out West. In this same issue is a tribute to the poet Robert Browning by George Sterling, who was a co-founder of the Carmel Bohemian community where Christine Rosamond had two galleries.

George Wharton James took some of the first photographs of the Grand Canyon and helped establish it as a National Park. To stand on the brink of this canyon with my daughter and grandson, was to gaze upon the Western History Royal Reuben Rosamond helped preserve and define for an eternity. Below is Rosamond’s poem ‘The Road Runner’ that are to be seen at Victoria’s door in Bullhead City. Just inside her door, is Rosemary’s Treasure Box wherein important Californian history is kept.

Here is just the beginning of what the poet and philosopher, Henry Mead Bland had to say about George James;

“The man doing more to preserve California literary tradition, and to foster Western letter, to search the highways and the byways for the relics of both obscure and great writers, to record the fast-disappearing story of the lives of California literary people then any other individual.”

The Road Runner
By R. R. R.

Low hangs the mists, and chill the wintry air,
Rain-swept the pines, and sodden everything.
And into these the weary travelers fare
For shelter from the night’s approaching sting.
The woodman’s axe to pitch-wood bark applied—
Then red flames leap and light a circle wide!

A desert waste, white, and hot, and bone strewn!
Here giant cacti eke a living death;
And there beside, a man with face plain-hewn—
No water left to stay his waning breath!
But see! a miner’s pick, in cacti driven,
A fount of life the desert there has given!

Resourceful bird, Road-runner of the South,
Grey as the desert road he runs along.
What chance for food and drink where withering drouth
Holds awful sway and robs all life of song!
There vicious rattlers add their venom-hate
But choya armed the bird has mastered fate.

With instinct given to start a fire in rain,
Instinct to drink were sparkling springs unheard,
And horn of plenty moved beyond the plain,
Give me the wisdom of this desert bird.
Then I can go with right good cheer and will
Where life’s great desert meets the verdant hill.

Rosamond, Roy Reuben. 1911. The Road Runner. Out West (New Series). 3 (March), 234.

You can read Rosamond’s poem in the original magazine along with his stories, “Camping on Anacapa,” and, “Guilty,” on Google books:

Today, on Monday, May 25, 2015 – Memorial Day – I discovered an article that suggests Attorney Sydney Morris mismanaged the creative family estate of the world famous Carmel photographers, Edward Weston, and his son, Brett Weston. Cole Weston was also a photographer. All three of these famous men captured the Lone Cypress of Pebble Beach with their cameras. Kim Weston is the grandson of photographer Edward Weston, son of photographer Cole Weston and nephew of photographer Brett Weston.

Sydney Morris is suing Carol Williams who tried to stop the sale of this Creative Family Legacy to a banker.

George Wharton James (27 September 1858[1]1923) was a prolific popular lecturer, photographer and journalist, writing more than 40 books and many articles and pamphlets on California and the American Southwest.

James’ books included the well-received The Wonders of the Colorado Desert (1906),[3] Through Ramona‘s Country (1909), In and Out of the Old Missions of California (1905), and The Lake of the Sky (1915). Characteristics of his writing included romanticism, an enthusiasm for natural environments, idealization of aboriginal lifeways, and health faddism. He was associate editor of The Craftsman (1904–05), editor of Out West (1912–14),[4] and lectured at the Panama-Pacific and Panama-California expositions 1915–16.[5]

The California State Library and the University of California, Berkeley have collections of James’ books and pamphlets. A collection of his photographs is on file at the University of New Mexico. The Southwest Museum in Los Angeles also has some of his papers and photographs.

In its early history, C.L.A. board members and staff worked with state legislators to promulgate artists’ rights legislation in California, including the State’s Resale Royalty Act (1976) and the California Art Preservation Act (1980).

In 1993, with the help of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Advancement grant, CLA expanded its mission to include articulating “a role for the arts in community development.” Following this, CLA received the first art-related grant from the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Families. In the mid-1990s, CLA began its statewide planning efforts, including a planning retreat with local arts agencies to include the arts in military base conversion. This work led to both a national conference funded by the NEA Design Arts Program and subsequent projects in Marin, San Francisco, Monterey and San Diego.[4]

Indigenous peoples are those groups especially protected in international or national legislation as having a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory, and their cultural or historical distinctiveness from other populations.[1] The legislation is based on the conclusion that certain indigenous people are vulnerable to exploitation, marginalization and oppression by nation states formed from colonising populations or by politically dominant, different ethnic groups.

A special set of political rights in accordance with international law have been set forth by international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank.[2] The United Nations has issued a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to guide member-state national policies to collective rights of indigenous people—such as culture, identity, language, and access to employment, health, education, and natural resources. Estimates put the total population of indigenous peoples from 220 million to 350 million.[3]

The adjective indigenous is derived from the Latin etymology meaning “native” or “born within”.[5] Any given people, ethnic group or community may be described as indigenous in reference to some particular region or location that they see as their traditional tribal land claim.[6] Other terms used to refer to indigenous populations are aboriginal, native, original, or first (as in Canada’s First Nations).

Farr introduced the “Oceans Conservation, Education, and National Strategy for the 21st century Act” (H.R. 21) in January 2007. The bill would consolidate national management of oceans, creating a system of regional governance; make the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the chief oceans agency; creates an ocean advisor in the president’s Cabinet; creates regional and national ocean advisory committees; and create an Oceans and Great Lakes Conservation Trust Fund. It received a subcommittee markup in April 2008 and passed by a vote of 11–3.[5]

Oceans. Farr is a proponent of ocean protection and conservation. In addition to H.R. 21, Farr has introduced the Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Research Act (H.R. 3639) and the Clean Cruise Ship Act (H.R. 6434)

Gas prices. Farr opposes opening new areas to offshore drilling, instead supporting the drilling of 68,000,000 acres (280,000 km2) of federally owned land already under lease, including 33,000,000 acres (130,000 km2) on the Outer Continental Shelf. Farr also supports ending subsidies to oil companies.[13]

Base Realignment and Closure. Farr has worked closely with Central Coast cities and the Army on the reuse of the former Fort Ord. He was integral in securing $29 million for the creation of California State University-Monterey Bay. He also played a role in making sure land on the former installation included significant amounts of affordable housing.

Pebble Beach is a public golf course. How is it that the Pebble Beach Company can bar artists and photographers from doing what they will with the image of the Lone Cypress Tree. What I am going to propose is turning the land owned by the PBC into a National Park, that will include the vision of Samuel F.B. Morse. The Carmel area has been a haven for writers and artists. Carmel is our Nation’s most cultured area. It is a National Icon.

Last night I talked to Marilyn Reed about the movie script I am authoring, titled ‘Carmel’.

“I considered doing the movie ‘California’ that includes so much of my kindred’s history, but, millions would feel left out. How come they didn’t mention Oxnard, or, Freemont? I was born there. They did my hometown dirty. Carmel stands alone! California’s best qualities have gathered there.”

Marilyn is now telling me about a movie she saw on cable two months ago.

“Have you seen the movie ‘The Sandpiper’?”

My High School Sweetheart did not have time to fill me in because she was going to choir practice. After we hung up, I googled “Sandpiper” and was blown away. This movie stars my kindred, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, who plays a artist, a woman artist, who moves into a dramatic house, perched on dramatic rocks, overlooking  a dramatic sea. And, here come the dramatic Richard Burton, who had a dramatic married to the ‘Rose of World’.

Why has no tabloid zeroed in on the name ROSEMOND which may be the most dramatic name in history? There are several plays and countless poems written about Fair Rosamond. Christine owned two ‘Rosamond ‘ galleries in Carmel. Did my sister see the movie ‘The Sandpiper’? She did not learn Liz was our kin when she was alive. The outsider who ended up with our infamous, dramatic, and creative legacy, did not know this world famous actress shared the same great grandfather as Christine and I. yet, she claims she is “the caretaker” of our family history.

In looking at the images from Sandpiper, I understood a Great Destiny was at work. Sometimes it takes decades to establish an artist as one of the greats. To put Liz Taylor on the beach at Big Sur is to behold the future, the Great Story, that deserves a Happy Ending. National Velvet was shot at Pebble Beach. Rosamond bought one of Micky Rooney’s home with the money she earned from rendering beautiful women.

“Why don’t you send Clint Eastwood your movie script?” asked my dear fiend, who knew Arnold Palmer.

When I awoke this morning, the solution, a true vision was waiting for me to open my eyes. What I do here, on this day, is found a foundation to Free The Lone Pine Cypress, and have this beautiful tree, this national icon, be the epicenter of our newest National Park. I propose Uncle Sam come to the rescue of a famous actor, golfer, and business people of renown, and purchase the Pebble Beach Company. Mr. Eastwood would make the movie ‘Carmel’, and……

“All’s well, that ends well!”

My newspaper ‘Royal Rosamond Press’ will champion the creation of this park wherein many artists and writers will find a perminent sanctuary. I am open to suggestions ask to what th name of this park will be.  I am going to establish a non-profit company called ‘Carmel Cypress Park’. Donations are welcome.

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was a great collector of art, like her uncle Howard. Rosemond encouraged her good friend, Michael Jackson, to take up art.

A couple of months ago a mountain was named after our kindred, Jessie Benton-Fremont, whose family efforts made California, and Oregon, States. They added two stars to our National Flag, and our National Destiny, that extend “from sea to shining sea”

Jon Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press, and, Carmel Cypress National Park

According to my aunt Lillian, her father, Royal Rosamond, taught Earle Stanley Gardener the rudiments of writing. In a taped interview Lillian told me she would fall asleep in the Rosamond home in Ventura to the sound of Roy and Earl pecking away on the Royal typewriter. Gardener is the creator of Perry Mason, an old television series about an attorney who never fails to win a case.

According to my mother, Rosemary, Royal used to sail out to the Channel Islands with his friend, Dashiell Hammett, and camp overnight. I found old photographs of my grandmother and Roy camping on one of these islands, and will post them later.

Above is a photograph of Henry Meade Bland, the Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County, with Joaquin Miller ‘The Poet of the Sierras’. Miller would come down from his poet and artist’s retreat called ‘The Heights’ and carry my father on his lap as he rode with my grandmother on the trolley to catch a ferry to San Francisco. My German kinfolk owned a orchard in the city of Fruit Vale that later became incorporated into the city of Oakland where I was born. I assume they sold their fruit to the canneries located in what is now called Jingletown, a community of Bohemians and Artists.

Meade wrote a piece about George James in the same edition of Out West magazine that Royal Rosamond’s story ‘Camping on Ananapa’ is found. Below is Meade’s history written by Eugene T. Sawyers who was titled ‘The King of Dime Novelists’. Eugene authored the Nick Carter series. Hammett was titled “The dean of the hard-boiled’ school of detective fiction”. Royal wrote several love stories for early California Romance magazines. Rosamond’s poems are found next to George Sterling’s and Joaquin Millers. I have yet to find a mystery or detective story authored by my grandfather.

“Over the past year, I’ve overheard Oakland natives complaining about the influx of hipsters moving to Oakland. However, this trend is as old as the city itself. Poseurs have been coming to the East Bay since the pioneer days. Today we honor one of these famous poseurs, Joaquin Miller, on his 175th birthday.”

Michael McClure is a late arrival hipster. When I first heard his prodigy’s music, I said to myself;

“It’s all over. This hot body oil throbbing lava lamp sex-rock shit will sweep hippiedom, and wipe out the Northern Beat peecoat scene with walks to the cold beaches while on Owsley’s latest batch of LSD.”

“Know thyself, was now “Check-out my white rock-hard musical cock – baby!”
I am speaking of Jim Morrison, whom McClure tried to educate, turn him into a real poet. No sooner was this magic trick done, then Jim is down in LA haunting the castle the rock group Love lived in, he camping outside Arthur Lee’s door in order to suck his magic mojo into his hot to trot being. Arthur was disgusted, as I assume was McClure.

In my Back to Reality Movement, let us remove Jim and McClure’s contribution, and go back to California’s traditional roots before LSD came along, and a legion of middle-class pothead achievers. The Beat Museum that McClure opened, is pathetic, way off the mainline in a geriatric way. Best to have founded a hipster museum in the home of Wanda Harkins on Pinehaven Road, she opening her home to real beats and hipsters for decades. Wanda was the host of wild bongo parties that resulted in a raid by the Oakland Police Department. Peter Shapiro of the Loading Zone was a guest, as was Jerry Rubin and Bruce Perlowin ‘The King of Pot’. Unfortanetly, when Wanda passed away, the glory days of Pinehave came to an end, we hipsters given the old heave-ho by Wanda’s overly ambitious second son, who we talked about dosing as far bask as 1968. This square failed in all his endeavors and then began cutting us down at the knees in some insane need to be a success. Being burned-out hippies, it was pretty easty getting the dope on us and busting our ass, where today, he is the Last Man Standing in what was once a good scene! I have met some Narco types before, but this dude takes the cake in order to get brownie points in some weird and very private contest he is having with hiself.

Above is a photo of the 13th. Street Four crossing a bridge in Venice California. From left to right is: Keith Pruvis, Tim O’Connor, Peter Shapiro, and, Jon Greg Presco. In the foreground in Tim’s girlfriend whose father was a famous Hollywood agent and good friend of Lee Marvin and Marlon Brando who were at her home quite alot. Tim’s father was a famous actor of the same name.

In 1968, The Four lived in a large Victorian house on 13th. street near downtown Oakland. James Taylor, Keith and I, moved into this incredible house two weeks after my fall at McClure’s Beach. James invited the rock band ‘The Loading Zone’ to come live with us. As ‘The Marbles’ they played at the first Trips Festival at Longshoremen’s Hall in 1966. Keith Peter, and myself were good friends of James Harkins who was one cool dude. He dropped acid with his fathr in 1965, and is a prolific artist and poet.

I was given a bedroom next to the sound room. It had a beautiful carved mantel. I was the artist in residence. When the Zone came home from a gig at the Filmore they would bring home members of famous bands who wanted to see the quintessential hippie scene that had made the San Francisco bay area famous all over the world. I would get a knock on my door and some band member wanted to come in and take a peek. One young man asked if he could watch me paint. There was a fire in the hearth. I worked late at night on large canvases provided by my patron and benefactor, Bob H. who grew up with Tim Scully, and was a good friend of Owsley, he helping him build the sound system for the Grateful Dead. Bob’s brother, Tim H. was a member of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, and sold LSD in Europe. Bob had worked at the Livermore Lab when he was sixteen. He was a young genius who bid me to paint again after my fall.

“There is nothing new under the sun.” Check out the surfer chic.

Owning a true vision is a blessing and a curse. I have to remind myself of this every day. It has been more then three years since I have seen my grandson, Tyler Hunt, who will carry on this vision he will inherit.

Lawrence Chazen is a Trustee for the Big Sur Land Trust. He was my father’s private lender and formed a partnerships with Christine and Garth Benton a month after our father formed a partnership with his two daughters. Vic did not know about Chazen being behind the opening of the first Rosamond Gallery in Carmel. Chazen was a friend of Garth. Upon learning Garth was an artist. Vic Presco suggested they introduce Rosamond to him. That is Chazen looking into the lens at the reopening of the Rosamond gallery after Christine died. The black balloons are – tasteless! If I was there, I would have popped them. On the right is Rosamond’s painting of our black maid ‘Lena and Her Sisters’.

I am the Benton and Fremont Family Historian. There is not one else. My niece, Drew Benton, is an artist who is immersed in the gift she inherited from both her parents. Thanks to Jessie Benton, we have Yosemite National Park.

Cristine and I lived with Zorthian sisters in San Francisco.  Betty is the founder of the Santa Ynez Land Trust, which eventually became the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.

The greatest artist to come out of Nebraska – by far – is Gutzon Borglum, who created Mount Rushmore National Monument. Gutzon and his family lived in Omaha and Fremont City. When they moved to Los Angeles, my kindred, Jessie Benton-Fremont, became his patron. She sent Gutzon to famous art schools in Europe. Gutzon did a bust of Jessie, and a portrait of John Fremont.

Charles Lummis the editor of ‘The Land of Sunshine’ and ‘Out West’ was a great promoter of Gutzon and the Fremonts. There is a good chance my grandfather, Royal Rosamond, knew Lummis because he published his poems and stories in Out West. Lummis’ stone house is a National Treasure and perhaps was a model for the house I envisioned for the George Sterling park. Add to this the parks Joaquin Miller and his daughter established in the Oakland Hills, then what we have is a Family Tree that has preserved beauty.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2015

1978 The Big Sur Land Trust was founded when fewer than a dozen families came together to ensure that Big Sur’s beauty and quality of life would be preserved for later generations.  Around kitchen tables and over potluck dinners, they decided that a land trust should be established to preserve the unique culture and environment of their community.

I found this letter two days ago on the Rosamond photo file I got several years ago. I could not make out the signature, and googled Sulphur Mountain and Santa Paula. This is a letter from the famous director, Gaston Melies, the brother of the even more famous director,  Georges Méliès.

I was in shock. I considered the thousands of hours of research I have done without receiving a dime, and now, at the bottom of the shaft of the mine I have dug for myself, I find a gem.  I now owned the engine that drove my grandfather, that kept him going forward, he never giving up. Did he tell everyone around him Gaston will make a movie from his story ‘The Finding of the Last Chance Mine’, one day? If not, there were plenty more stories where that came from – a veritable mother load!

Why wasn’t I told about this letter? Why didn’t my grandmother tell me she was Bohemian Grove Wood Nymph? The sad truth now hit home. Being a writer, a gambler, a poet, a drifter, a artist, and a free spirit, are not good things to be, especially when they are associated with ‘Being a Failure’. Royal Rosamond failed to strike it big, and take his Rosy family to Hollywood where they would be rolling in doe. Instead, Mary Magdalene Magdalene was forced to make hats in order to feed her four beautiful daughters – and her husband who took the pen name, Royal. This is why Mary told him not to come home when he failed to sign that book deal with Homer Croy who wrote ‘They Had to See Paris’ starring the most famous cowboy of the time, Will Rogers. Roy Reuben Rosamond, was all washed up. He was a has-been wannabe. This prospector never saw his beautiful wife, and his four daughters, again, but for my mother, Rosemary Rosamond, who went to Oklahoma City to see the abject failure, one last time. Roy had a newspaper stand and tutored young folk in the art of poetry.

If you are a creative person, you know for every star, there are a thousand souls who did not make to the Big Tent. In biographies of famous people you notice there is a creative group that surrounds them. If you are authoring a biography, you string connections together and hang them on a tree.

Francis Ford starred in Gaston’s movie ‘The Ghost of Sulphur Mountian’. Francis is the brother of the really famous director, John Ford, who is known for his Westerns. Roy Rosamond claimed he was a real Cowboy, so did Joaquin Miller who amused the Pre-Raphaelites and European Royalty with his Western garb.  This image was tailor-made for Miller by Ina Coolbrith the darling of the Bohemian Club. Then there is the Salon Jessie Fremont had in San Francisco that Mark Twain and Bret Harte attended. The Western Star is born. Now add to this the artwork of Thomas Hart Benton, and Christine Rosamond Benton, then you behold the core cultural movement in America, that left the East Coast, high and dry.

Last, but no least, is Jack London’s Last Chance Salon in Oakland, and Steinbecks ‘Grapes of Wrath’ that John Ford directed. Sprinkle in the Radical Republicans, who did battle with the folks that starred in ‘Birth of a Nation’ and what you get is gritty Westernized Socialism and a Commie Witchhunt.

I can now see my mother knew about this deal to secure her father’s story, and make sure Gaston owns the copyright. Rosemary flirted with the idea she would be a movie star, and once dated a B Actor named George. She used to show us his picture and ask;

“How would you kids have liked to have been George’s children and be born in Hollywood? He asked me to marry him. Instead, I married that SOB father of yours.”

Drats! Our story is tailor made for W.C. Fields who stepped on my aunts toes at a tennis match. This got the attention of Errol Flynn, who sent his friend over to give Lillian an invite, with phone number!

You see, it took over ten years to gather together my family history, because the women in the family had grown bitter – wrathful! Here is a video of the other man Rosemary should have married. His father owned a vast tract of Lima Bean fields in Camarillo, just east of the little town of Santa Paula where Gaston moved his movie company ‘Star Film Ranch’ in 1911. He was following a trend. Some say tis was the film capitol of California. The Rosamond household was not but twelve miles away at ‘Ventura by the Sea’. Did Gaston make a search of the local talent for his next movie?

Royal’s story appeared in West Coast Magazine. A similar story about a mine, along with ‘The Squaw Girl’, appeared in Out West magazine in 1911. There is mention of a “dramatic copyright’ which indicates Royal was writing with the movies in mind. This puts my grandfather at the epicenter of the first California Movie industry. Was he aware of the movie ‘The Squaw Man’ that Christine Rosamond’s first biographer mistakenly attributed to Roy? How much money did Tom Snyder receive for getting it wrong? That book did not sell, and was a abject failure. My daughter, her mother and aunt, and my surviving sister, backed this losing effort.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2014

Furthermore, the Pre-Raphaelite movement was not a
solely British phenomenon. Across the Atlantic a ferment
was working among certain young American painters,
authors, and architects who were directly inspired by the
English P.R.B. attack on sterile conservatism. This progres-
sive group in turn denounced what they considered the
slavish adherence to mere tradition. They too became less
polemic, but through the latter half of the nineteenth
century and into our own times they and their followers did

*Two extensions of this term are implicit in this study: first, Ruslcin,
although not a member of the Brotherhood, was so closely associated with
them in the minds of the American Pre-Raphaelites that frequent reference
must be made to him; and, secondly, although the actual P.R.B. organization
existed for little more than five years, investigation of the continuing careers
of its members and of such later associates as William Morris is of course

Three noteworthy periodicals in this country stemmed
directly from the tenets of Ruskin and the British Brother-
hood. The first journal clearly Pre-Raphaelite in its origin
and sympathies was the Crayon, edited by William James
Stillman, a painting-companion of Ruskin and a close as-
sociate of the whole Rossetti family. This review appeared
in the 1850*5 and conveyed to American readers the heart
of the P.R.B. theories. Another little magazine, the New Path,
was the organ of a superbly self-confident American Brother-
hood known as the “Society for the Advancement of Truth
in Art/’ which centered in New York City in the Civil War
years. Charter members of this group included several young
men of a liberal cast of mind, who were to gain some public
recognition: Clarence King, later the good friend of Henry
Adams, author of Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada, and
first Director of the U. S. Geological Survey; Charles Herbert
Moore, subsequently a respected art historian in the Norton
tradition and the first administrator of Harvard’s Fogg
Museum; Clarence Cook, who became editor of the old
Studio-, and two men who made names as architects and
critics, Peter B. Wight, a proponent of the Gothic Revival
in America, and Russell Sturgis, art editor for Scribnefs and
designer of four Gothic buildings for Yale University, A
third American magazine deriving from British sources, in
this case from William Morris and his Arts and Crafts
movement, was the Craftsman, which achieved the impres-
sive circulation of 60,000 before ceasing publication during
the First World War.

John William Hill or often J.W. Hill (1812–1879) was a British born American artist working in watercolor, gouache, lithography, and engraving. Hill’s work focussed primarily upon natural subjects including landscapes, still lifes, and ornithological and zoological subjects. In the 1850s, influenced by John Ruskin and Hill’s association with American followers of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, his attention turned from technical illustration toward still life and landscape

While in his early forties Hill read John Ruskin’s Modern Painters, and became fascinated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The Pre-Raphaelite movement’s combination of realism with increased emotional content appealed to Hill. Hill championed Pre-Raphaelite painting methods in the United States, but was less fascinated with their ideals. in 1863, with art critic Clarence Cook, geologist Clarence King, and architect Russell Sturgis, Hill helped to found the Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art. For the remainder of Hill’s life he focussed upon landscapes, mostly of the mountainous areas of New England and New York state.

Association for the Advancement of Truth in Art.
ON the evening of the twenty-
seventh of January, in the present year,
a number of persons met at 32 Waverly
Place, in the city of New York. Be-
lieving in the overwhelming power of
the Truth, especially in Art, they had
for some time seen the necessity of a
united effort to revive true Art in
America, and had assembled at this
time to take counsel together, and if
thought proper to organize an Associa-
tion for the better promotion of the
end just stated.
A meeting was organized and the
usual formality of electing a temiporary
chairman and secretary gone through
with. The objects and ends of such a
society were informally discussed and
the views of those present were freely
expressed.  The result was that a
Committee was appointed to prepare a
form of organization, containing a state-
ment of principles embracing the ideas
that had been expressed and generally
approved by the assembled company,
and to report at the next meeting.
Several meetings were subsequently
held, at which the whole subject was
discussed, and at length, on the eigh-
teenth of February, the Articles of
organization were reported complete,
unanimously adopted, and signed by all
the persons present. The Association
thus became permanently organized
and proceeded to elect officers.
The Articles covered the whole
ground-Firstly, defining the principles
upon which are based all right Art.
Secondly, stating what they propose
to do to carry out those principles, and,
Thirdly, the form of organization, and
We cannot do justice to the first of
the Articles without giving it entire.
It says:
” We hold that the primary object
of Art is to observe and record truth,
whether of the visible universe or of
emotion. All great Art results from
an earnest love of the beauty and per-
fectness of God’s creation, and is the
attempt to tell the truth about it.
The greatest Art includes the widest
range, recording, with equal fidelity,
the aspirations of the human soul, and
the humblest facts of physical Nature.
“That the imagination can do its
work, and free invention is possible
only when the knowledge of external
Nature is extended   and  accurate.
This knowledge, moreover, with sym-
pathy and reverence, will make happy
and useful artists of those to whomn
imagination and inventive power are
“That beauty, in the vain pursuit
of which generations of Artists have
wasted their lives, can only be appre-
ciated and seized by those who are
trained to observe and record all
truths, with equal exactness.  True
Art, representing Nature as she is,
discovers all her beauty, and records it
all. The art which seeks beauty alone,
disobeying Nature’s law of contrast and
narrowing the Artist’s mind, loses
beauty and truth together.
” Therefore, that the right course
for young Artists is faithful and loving
representations of Nature, “selecting
nothing and rejecting nothing,” seek-
ing only to express the greatest
possible amount of fact. It is more-
over, their duty to strive for the
greatest attainable power of drawing,
in view of the vast amount of good
talent, of wit, knowledge and pleasant
fancy, which is lost and wasted around
us every day from mere want of ability
to give it dne expression.
” We hold that in all times of great
Art, there has been a close connection
between Architecture, Sculpture, and
Painting; that Sculpture and Paint-
ing, having been first called into being
for the decoration of buildings, have
found their highest perfection when
habitually associated with Architec-
ture; that Architecture derives its
greatest glory from such association ;
therefore, that this union of the Arts
is necessary for the full development
of each.
“4We hold that lt is necessary, in
times when true Art is little practised
or understood, to look back to other
periods for instruction and inspiration.
That, in seeking for a system of Archi-
tecture suitable for such study, we
shall find it only in that of the middle
Ages, of which   the most perfect
development is known as Gothic Archi-
tecture. This Architecture demands
absolutely true and constructive build-
ing; alone, of all the styles that have
prevailed on earth, it calls for complete

”PAINT the leaves as they grow! If you can paint one leaf, you can paint the world,” wrote the English critic John Ruskin in his epic ”Modern Painters.” And in the mid-19th century, a small group of American artists took the advice to heart, rendering Nature close up with such fidelity as to make today’s Photo-Realism look – well, out of focus. They came to be known as the American Pre-Raphaelites, and their work – celebrating Ruskin’s bless-every- blade-of-grass esthetic – left something of a mark on American landscape and still-life painting. Now ”The New Path: Ruskin and the American Pre-Raphaelites,” the first show to study this short-lived movement in depth, has been mounted by the Brooklyn Museum, where it will run through June 10 before moving to Boston.

It’s by no means a ”big” show, rife with stirring, dramatic works. The artists involved tended to work small, concentrating on watercolor still lifes and landscapes rather than the complex narrative themes – mostly done in oil – of the English Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood that preceded them. The Americans sacrificed interpretation and imagination to obsessive reportage: one of the best-known of them, William Trost Richards, spent the entire summer of 1858 limning ”a blackberry bush in the open air.” And technically dazzling as some of these paintings are, they lack the romantic grandeur of such concurrent American masters as Church and Bierstadt. What this exhibition, 15 years in the making, really celebrates is the scholarship that has rescued the movement – most of its works still unlocated – from near-oblivion and given it art-historical focus.

The American Pre-Raphaelites, also known as Realists or Naturalists, were led by Thomas Charles Farrer, an English expatriate artist and ardent Ruskin acolyte. In ”Modern Painters,” Ruskin’s insistence on long and earnest study of nature as the basis for art had inspired the English Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which aimed at reviving the ”purity” of Italian art before Raphael. Yet the nostalgic, literary compositions of the English artists were fussily detailed and mannered, with bright coloring and high finish. The Americans picked up on the color, finish and detail, but they eschewed the figural for still life and landscape, already important genres here. Following Ruskin, they believed that spiritual insight came from diligent perusal of, and lenslike fidelity to, nature in the raw. And in 1863, under Farrer’s leadership, a small band of them formed the Association for the Advancement of Truth in Art. In their publication, ”The New Path,” they pushed Ruskinian principles and brushed off the more painterly landscapists whose work was gaining favor.

The show in Brooklyn, organized by Linda S. Ferber, curator of American painting and sculpture there, and William H. Gerdts, executive officer of the Ph.D. program in art history at the Graduate School of the City University of New York, is mounted in three sections. The first presents work by Ruskin and William Henry Hunt, an English watercolorist whose supreme technical control Ruskin admired. His specialty was birds’ nests (with eggs), and the one shown here is a very model of such studies, the nest lying among yellow blossoms on the ground, with three abandoned blue eggs, a meditation – one supposes – on the fragility of life. Also here is Ruskin’s famous watercolor, ”Fragment of the Alps,” a closeup view of boulders more rocklike than rock itself (he felt that stone was the artist’s great challenge).

Works by the core group of American Pre-Raphaelites constitute the second section: among them Farrer, John William Hill and his son, John Henry Hill, Charles Herbert Moore, Henry Roderick Newman, Robert J. Pattison and William Trost Richards. Detailed close-ups – many of them exquisitely rendered – of leaves, trees, bushes, berries, blossoms, fruits, dead birds and birds’ nests abound, along with some stunning landscapes and one or two English Pre-Raphaelite-style melodramas by Farrer. Outstanding here are Richards’s 1861 oil, ”Sunset on the Meadow,” a perfect meld of close-up detail and general view; Charles Herbert Moore’s tiny, unbelievably meticulous canvas, ”Winter Landscape, Valley of the Catskills,” 1866, and John William Hill’s 1864 watercolor ”Pineapples,” a pair of fruit lying on the ground, so realistically depicted you can smell them. Lovers of watercolor will have a picnic here.

By 1870, the movement was over, but its coloristic principles and focus on detail had an effect on the course of American art. And the third section is devoted to less dogmatic painters who, though they may not have subscribed to the full Pre-Raphaelite message, were nevertheless influenced by it. Enhancing the show are works by Bierstadt, Church, Asher Brown Durand, Thomas Moran, Martin Johnson Heade and Worthington Whittredge, among others. The Pre- Raphaelites may not be the most exciting sub-chapter in American art history, but – thanks to this show and its scholarly catalogue – they are at last enshrined in it.


About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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