I Sued A Getty – And Won!

I Sued A Getty – And Won!


John Presco

Copyright 2020

There are not too many people that can say they won a lawsuit against a Getty – and won! Garth Benton is one of those people. Alcohol Justice sued several of my Getty kin – and lost. The Buck funded organization is still going after Governor, Gavin Nuesom, who is a friend of my family. It has been proven that Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor is my cousin. Andrew Getty is her grandson.

On Christmas day my niece and I had a long conversation. Shannon Rosamond told me she was inside the Getty mansion for a couple of weeks help her step-father render the mural that Ann and Gordon painted over – without consulting the artis. Shannon described how this work was designed to be removed – and moved! She also told me she was working on a contract with the Getty Villa to maintain the murals Benton rendered – for perpetuity. These murals need constant attention because thy are outdoors. With tears, Shannon told me how my sister, Vicki Presco, teamed up with Garth, to betray the adult heir. Aunt Vicki dropped out as first named heir, to continue the Benton divorce that was just finalized before Christine Rosamond Benton – ended up in the ocean! How this happened – is still to be determined. What I heard from Shannon, puts a spotlight on the suspicion that ‘Rosamond’ was murdered. The motive for murder is powerful. My ex-brother-in-law took on one of the most powerful families in America History. This is Art History….Family Art History.

Michael Dundon called me on Christmas. He and Christine were loves in 1970. The three of us were staying at his mother Rose house in Rhode Island. Michael is the brother of Jim Dundon who was married to Vicki. They had one son, Shamus, who has two boys. Michael has four children and about ten grandchildren. Some called me ‘Uncle Greg’. Until my daughter Heather Hanson came into my life, Michael’s children were my surrogate children. We were best friends. Michael told me in detail how he encouraged Christine to take up art – who was inspired by my art. Shannon contributed to the continuing success of her mother. The three founders of this art dynasty are still alive – and still lover each other.

I am now going to try to get a grant from the Getty and Buck foundations. I will be composing a letter to the Governor of California and the Speaker of the House. I will make it clear that getting behind the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is a good idea, as the Windsors and related families have been great supporters of Art, Literature, Science, and Literature – not to mention they have employed many Historians. I would be honored to be the Windsor Historian in California.

Last night, with tears in her eyes, my niece told me about the movie script she came to own after Vicki died sixteen months ago. It begins with a depiction of Christine as an out of control alcoholic cocaine addict. Vicki and Garth don’t give a shit about my sobriety and that my sister drowned on her first sober birthday. They surmise this exploitation movie is just what Rosamond’s fans wanted to see. They knew better. They betrayed these fans – too! Anything goes to make money!

Vicki sold partnership prints to Stacey Pierrot which was illegal. Stacey is the high school friend of Jacci Belford, the No.2 named executor who dropped out when Vicki did, and nominated Garth. Shannon was set up for an arrest. They tried to set me up by asking me to stay in my sister’s house and keep my niece from stealing. That Vicki ends up in possession of a movie script convinces me she wanted me to sign the NDA Tom Snyder sent me. I refused, and my brother disowned me. Vicki and Mark Presco got behind Garth and went after the two surviving artist in my natal family. Together, they lured my seventeen year old daughter into – Camp Art Conspiracy. Mark and Vicki are not artists or writers. They betrayed the Last Wishes of a world famous women artist – just because they shared blood with her. There is no greater Art Villain than ‘Tricky Vicki’ a moniker she well deserves.

Garth and Robin Beare Destroyed Estate | Rosamond Press

Christine and her father, Victor Presco, at the San Francisco Opera. All family photographs are copyrighted.

John Presco

Copyright 2020

Garth Sues the Gettys

Posted on December 16, 2014by Royal Rosamond Press

 Vic had made it to the top of the art world. How he got there, is the crux of my autobiography ‘Capturing Beauty’. Let me begin today’s Art Lesson with this:

Thomas Pynchon is referring to the Gardner Museum a.k.a Fenway Court in his fictitious name, Crocker Fenway. Also, Mickey Wolfmann is Wolf Larsen who shanghaied sailors by giving them a Micky Finn. Fang comes from White Fang, another novel by Jack London. Golden Fang is a reference to the Gold rush and Golden Gate that Larsen sails out of. Jack was a member of the Bohemian Club, as was Joaquin Miller. Above is a photo of Captain Vic fishing with his son-in-law, the famous muralist, Garth Benton.

When I got Captain Vic’s mail one day, I noticed several letters addressed to Bill Larsen. Vic’s middle name is William. At a nudie bar on the way to grandma’s, my Captain asked me to call him, Bill. Being a fan of London, I asked Vic who was his role model in raising his sons. He told me he admired the father in Oakland’s Chinatown when he was a fatherless teen. This is why he founded Acme Produce in a Victorian warehouse in Jack London Square. He had made a loan for London’s daughter, who gave him a pick of first editions. Vic did not say which one he chose. Growing up in Oakland, my father was a big fan of Jack.

“Wolf Larsen.” my father confessed. “I wanted to raise you boys up to be tough, and mean.

“I knew it! I cried, and then let go a winning smile, because I now owned the key to my abusive upbringing, the reason why my brother and I were treated like slaves, we forced to work at Acme from the ages of eight thru eleven.


Above is the Prescos having Christmas dinner at the Bigalows, who were rich. Jim Bigalow owned Crucians in Berkeley and Sam’s in Tiberon where Herb Caen wrote his column. I had seen a Walter Keane at Crucians, and there was one hanging on the wall in my uncle’s house in the Presidio. Jim was very good friends with the Keanes and had them over for dinner a lot, because Jim saw himself as their patron. He did not know their secret that was recently made into a movie ‘Big Eyes’ that is due out in a week. Inherent Vice is susposed to be out, but there is a delay. Are they reading this blog?

At the top is a photo of my ex-wife, Mary Ann Tharaldsen who was married to Thomas Pynchon. The world famous artist Christine Rosamond Benton, is sitting closest to the camera, and her teacher, John Gregory Presco, is sitting proudly next to the old woman. I have just told Jim the truth about his schlock work of art.

“You’re an aspiring artist, Greg. What do you think of this painting?”

“I think it is very commercial, and thus this artist is the enemy of true artists.”

Jim and I never spoke, again. Who is this, juvenile delinquent putting on airs at my dinner table? Well, if you follow all the rules of art, loan sharking, and Defaults, then I own the Art World because I was never given the family partnership prints my father left me in a Trust. My magical daughter got them, the daughter I did not know I had, who came into my life when she was sixteen. She and her family put a hex on me. Her fake father was arrested twice for impersonating Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead.

Sitting in chairs before a Rosamond, is Jacci Belford, and Stacey Pierrot. A week after Christine drowned, I get a call from Jacci who says;

“I’m glad your father is not going to get his prints back!”

This was the beginning of hijacking by two employees of Rosamond at her second gallery in Carmel. The man in the tux was a partner of the Benton’s in the first gallery. This is Lawrence Chazen, a Getty advisor and partner in PlumpJack. He was also Captain Vic’s Private Lender who was investigated by Andrew Cuomo of HUD for loan sharking. I suspect Rosamond prints were used as tax right-offs. Our ancestors were the first dentists in the Bay Area. We descend from Prussians.

Michael Harkins and his family were like my second family. He is a Private Investigator who helped Vic find a buyer for his prints. Ira Cohen, of Ira Roberts Gallery, wanted some, but Vic did have procession of them. Ira was Christine’s first promoter. Michael was at our wedding reception. I went with my friend, and Bill Linhart to KTVU where Bill was going to be interviewed about his work with Cayrl Chessman.

After the Oakland Hills Fire, my friend Michael took me up to Taurus street and showed me the ruins of Peter Stackpole’s home wherein valuable works of art and photography was destroyed. This was a monumental loss to the art world, and to the creative culture that made the Bay Area a Mecca to Bohemian Souls from all over the world.

Ralph Stackpole was a friend of George Sterling and stayed with him and the artists and poets that gathered at Lake Temescal in Oakland. Ralph befriended Diego and Freda Rivera the famous muralist and artist. Ralph helped design the Paramount theatre and a giant statue for Golden Gate Exposition, a goddess named Pacifica.


When I was seventeen, a twenty-four year old woman that was fired by Mayor Yorty, called up the actor, Raymond Burr, who owned a art gallery. Putting me on the phone, Raymond is inviting me to is house for a small dinner party. At the end the call Kathy warns me Mr. Burr is a homosexual, and will try to get me in his bed. A week later, I catch Arnold Palmer taking in my girl friends, sixteen year old ass. I am now wondering if I chose the right profession. Rosemary had a thing for Raymond because he looked like Vic.

Have you had enough? It goes on and one, this Wall of Illusion that is like Phil Spector’s infamous Wall of Sound!  Below is a mural depicting the Oregon Trail. Consider the mural in back of Doc . Garth did the murals at the Getty Villa that looks like the Gardner Museum Court. There is a labyrinth at the Getty Museum in a pool of water. Consider Rosamond’s Well. Vic smuggled his last wife over the border in a marijuana shipment. He met her while laundering money in Mexico. Captain Vic and Thomas Pynchon are in the same family tree. I think I will doctor this photo by putting a paper bag on Garth’s head. Scroll down to read why Mr. Benton sued his billionaire friends.

Thomas Pynchon has lived like a sequestered Monk, our ex wife bringing him fast food and news from the outside world that the puts thru his grinder to produce his fictional playmates and make-believe criminal families. But for a couple hundred dollars I got from commission my uncle Vinnie got when I was sixteen, I have not got a real pay day. What does this make me?

That the Art world allowed one of the world’s most destructive and dishonest men in their midst, where he rise to the top, is like a fairytale come true. Captain Wolf employed my PI friend who was trained by a famous detective (Bill Lindhart) to find his prints. As I explained the cunning labyrinth the Gallery Gargoyles had made around the art of the Rose of the World, he growled;

“I hate art!’

Above is a photo of Vic’s third wife, Crazy Dee-Dee. She shot the Captain in the back. In back of her is my painting ‘The Argument’ that I gave my father. It got destroyed in a argument.

Thomas Pynchon was not a hippie, or a beat. Neither was Mary Ann. They were part of the Cornell group that included Richard Farina whose music was loved by some of the hippies I was close to. I met Mimi Farina at a music festival in Monterey.

There are many published writers that have moved Pynchon into the center of my peers, and put a crown on his head. He is not even the King of Fools as he makes fun of us, assigns us cute and phony names that amuses many writers who think they have invented the Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown and his wife eavesdropped on yahoogroups I belonged to, and stole our study when they took a historical-fiction approach where no proof of authenticity is required. Just follow the roses, and you will arrive at the, Jack Pot, the name of the true King of Hippies.

Victor William Presco is not a writer, artist, or famous rock star. He did sire two creative children. His father, Victor Hugo Presco, was named after a famous author who wrote a novel about a beautiful Bohemian gypsy who is saved by a Fool from being hung as a witch.

Jon Presco

‘The King of Muses’

Copyright 2014


Old illustration of Wolf Larsen that looks like Vic and Raymond. Uncanny!


“Inherent Vice,” is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first ever film adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel. When private eye Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin…well, easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s being way too overused – except this one usually leads to trouble. With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists… Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp – all Thomas Pynchon.

Doc performs a switch operation in order to hide the drugs and is later contacted by Crocker Fenway (father of Japonica) who acts as an intermediate for the Golden Fang. Doc arranges a handover, his only condition being that Coy is released from all of his obligations and allowed to return to his family. After the handover has taken place, Doc and his lawyer Sauncho hear that the Golden Fang schooner is leaving port. Along with the Coast Guard, they pursue the vessel, and watch as it is abandoned after encountering an enormous surf wave. Sauncho and Doc then decide to place a claim on the schooner.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (ISGM) or Fenway Court, as the museum was known during Isabella Stewart Gardner‘s lifetime, is a museum in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of BostonMassachusetts, located within walking distance of the Museum of Fine Arts

Belaying Pin
89; “local fish place” in San Pedro. A “belaying pin” is a device used on ships for securing ropes. See here.

A belaying pin also makes a handy cudgel-like weapon. Intriguingly, this use of belaying pins is alluded to in the CineBooks review of The Sea Wolf, one of the key John Garfield movies mentioned in Inherent Vice (and based on the Jack London novel). Here’s the relevant part: “…the Ghost is manned by shanghaied sailors who have been pressed into service with belaying pins and Mickey Finns in the old British way,…” Isn’t it curious that belaying pins are mentioned in such a context, in a review of The Sea Wolf, and then Pynchon calls his restaurant “The Belaying Pin”? Full text of review: The Sea Wolf


The capacity of some people to give back to the community is truly awe- inspiring, and as far as San Francisco is concerned, the Gettys are in a world all their own.

As if the local standard bearers of high society had not done enough in the areas of philanthropy, culture, music or family planning, now the Gettys have ventured forth in a new and unexpected arena: art education.

Their first project is to remind us that when you decide to “upgrade” an artist’s work, you may want to call the artist before getting in touch with your inner Monet. And it’s better, and cheaper, if your cubist leanings don’t involve someone else’s cube.

Late last week, Ann and Gordon Getty quietly settled a lawsuit — as if for them there could be any other way — that had been hanging over their estate for several months. Under the agreement, the Gettys have agreed to pay Garth Benton, an internationally acclaimed muralist, a sizable but undisclosed amount in exchange for the artist’s agreeing to drop his suit against one of the country’s richest families.

Benton’s lawsuit centered on an obscure California law that protects the work of artists, giving them the equivalent of copyright ownership of their work even after the work is sold. The 20-year-old law makes it a crime to alter, destroy or deface a work of fine art and holds that doing so can be “detrimental to the artist’s reputation.” In Benton’s case, however, the art wasn’t so much defaced as actually erased.

It seems that the Gettys, once enamored of Benton’s work — to the point they commissioned him to do a series of murals for their Pacific Heights mansion — grew tired of the large canvas paintings. Rather than removing them,

the famous art patrons had them painted over — in the words of one attorney close to the case, they were “whited out.”

When this happened isn’t exactly clear, but it apparently took place about seven years ago. Yet the Alabama-based Benton, who did the murals from 1986 to 1988, found out about it only early this year, when by chance, he called his onetime San Francisco clients.

It seems Benton telephoned his former patrons to request photographs of the murals, titled “The Works,” for inclusion in a catalog. A few days later, he discovered “The Works” had been worked over. And as they say in polite society,

the artist was not pleased.

Benton, whose clients have included Bob HopeAaron Spelling and former President Gerald Ford, sued Ann and Gordon Getty for $500,000 — about $170, 000 more than he was paid for the original murals. Attorneys involved in the negotiations say he will not receive that much in the settlement. And in return for the payment, the Gettys will be free to do with the murals what they want — keep them in their current repainted state or remove them from their walls.

Why they weren’t simply removed rather than painted over is a matter of some contention among the parties involved. Benton’s attorney says the murals were painted on specially prepared canvasses for the explicit purpose of allowing the Gettys to move them to another home or property if they so desired.

But the couple’s attorneys say they didn’t realize that the works could be removed — and didn’t know they lacked the authority to, shall we say, reconfigure them.

“The Gettys certainly weren’t aware of the law protecting the art,” said their attorney, Virginia Crisp, a partner with Coblentz, Patch, Duffy and Bass in San Francisco. “It’s not a well-known statute, and they simply weren’t aware that there would be any problem painting over one of the walls in their home.”

Crisp said the decision to paint them over was not meant to impugn the artist’s reputation or work. The Gettys just happen to use the atrium area where the murals were located for numerous parties. “And the parties often have themes — themes that didn’t necessarily work well with the art expressed in the paintings.”

And having been to the Getty home on a day when scruffy journalists like myself were invited, I can say that with the general eclectic art theme that ranges from Polynesian to Picasso, it would be difficult to throw an Italianate mural into the mix.

Yet to the Gettys’ credit, said Benton’s attorney, David Paul Steiner, they called in experts after being informed of their gaffe, to see if the murals could be restored. But the cost of trying to restore the giant paintings would have been prohibitive, Steiner said, at least twice as much as it cost to paint the original works.

“It’s a pity that the works have been destroyed, and it’s somewhat ironic that this would involve the Gettys, since Benton has done a great deal of work for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles,” Steiner said. “But we’re just happy to have the matter resolved.”

Yet now that the Gettys are keenly aware of the art protection statute, the art community can breathe a collective sigh of relief, because it should spare the other works in their collection, including paintings by Renoir and Pissarro.

Certainly they have provided the public with a stirring lesson in art preservation. Indeed, my children have already informed me that their football montages, their Marvel Comic knock-off panels, and even their rather hurriedly constructed skateboard sketch series are not to be touched or removed without their prior authorization.

Because you just can’t be too careful in assuming that something is not fine art.

Just a few years ago, another muralist, Kent Twitchell, received a $175,000 settlement from a motel owner who allowed a billboard company to whitewash a painting of an old woman overlooking the Hollywood Freeway — not realizing it was actually “The Old Woman of the Freeway.”

Better just to work out your artistic urges on your own canvas. Or maybe avoid theme parties altogether.

Prescos 1956 Melba, Vic & Rosemary

  Beaverton, Puck
149; bodyguard for Mickey Wolfmann who betrayed Glen Charlock when Wolfmann was abducted; “One of Mickey Wolfmann’s jailhouse praetorians” at home of dealer who provided Coy Harlingen with heroin that killed him, 211; Trillium Fortnight looking for him, 217; swastika tattoo on his shaved head, 218; screwing Trillium “California Department of Corrections style” 223; in Nine of Diamonds, 231; 258-259; 264; “one of Prussia’s people” 269; with Doc and Adrian Prussia, 317; “False Inhaling” 317

London, who was called “Wolf” by his close friends, also used a picture of a wolf on his bookplate, and named his mansion Wolf House.[7] Given that Van Weyden’s experiences in the novel bear some resemblance to experiences London had, or heard told about, when he sailed on the Sophia Sutherland, the autodidact sailor Wolf Larsen has been compared to the autodidact sailor Jack London.[citation needed]

Earlier this week, the first trailer for writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, Inherent Vice, took the Internet by storm — and you can expect a similar online explosion tonight, when the entire movie makes its world premiere at the 52nd New York Film Festival. But if viewers occasionally have trouble following exactly what happens during the course of this two-and-a-half-hour slice of sunny California noir, don’t worry: The director doesn’t expect you to piece everything together. Although Inherent Vice is adapted very faithfully from the 2009 book by Thomas Pynchon — the first of any of the famously reclusive author’s novels to reach the big screen — Anderson was equally inspired by an older example of a labyrinthine detective flick, Howard Hawks’ 1946 version of The Big Sleep, starring Humprhey Bogart as Raymond Chandler’s iconic gumshoe, Philip Marlowe.


White Fang is a novel by American author Jack London (1876–1916) — and the name of the book’s eponymous character, a wild wolfdog. First serialized in Outing magazine, it was published in 1906. The story takes place in Yukon Territory, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush and details White Fang’s journey to domestication.

The Sea-Wolf is a 1904 psychological adventure novel by American novelist Jack London about a literary critic, survivor of an ocean collision, who comes under the dominance of Wolf Larsen, the powerful and amoral sea captain who rescues him. Its first printing of forty thousand copies was immediately sold out before publication on the strength of London’s previous The Call of the Wild.[1] Ambrose Bierce wrote, “The great thing—and it is among the greatest of things—is that tremendous creation, Wolf Larsen… the hewing out and setting up of such a figure is enough for a man to do in one lifetime… The love element, with its absurd suppressions, and impossible proprieties, is awful.”[2]



Together Burr and Benevides cultivated Cabernet SauvignonChardonnay, and Port grapes, as well as orchids, at Burr’s farmland holdings in Sonoma County, California. After Burr’s death, Benevides named the property after Burr. The land is still in production and is known as the Raymond Burr Vineyards.

The complete story of the actor’s career, including his secret gay life. Raymond Burr (1917-1993) was an enigma. A film noir star regularly known for his villainous roles in movies like Rear Window, he delighted millions of viewers each week with the top-rated shows Perry Mason and Ironside, which ran virtually uninterrupted for 20 years. But Burr was leading a secret gay life at a time in Hollywood when such a lifestyle was akin to career suicide. He invented a tragic biography for himself in which he was mythologized as a heartbroken husband and father. There was even an invented affair with a teenage Natalie Wood, 21 years his junior. He fought for truth as Perry Mason and Robert T. Ironside, yet he couldn’t admit his own deception. Burr met his partner, struggling actor Robert Benevides, on the set of Perry Mason, and they remained together for over 35 years until Burr’s death. Together, they built a business empire, traveled the world, and shared their passion for orchids and fine wine – keeping the true nature of their relationship a secret from all but their closest friends – a secret revealed here for the first time in depth.


Walter Stanley Keane (October 7, 1915 – December 27, 2000) was an American plagiarist who became famous in the 1950s[1] for claiming he had painted a series of widely-reproduced paintings depicting vulnerable waifs with enormous eyes.[2] Inspired in 1948, his concept for these paintings originated with “Susie Keane’s Puppeteens”, wide eyed puppets hand painted by Walter Keane, clothing designed and sewn by Barbara Keane, named after their daughter Susan Keane.[3] The paintings were in fact painted by his wife Margaret Keane. When she made this fact public, Walter Keane retaliated with a USA Today article that again claimed he had done the work. So in 1986 Margaret Keane sued both Walter and USA Today. In the subsequent slander suit the judge demanded that the litigants paint a painting in the courtroom, but Walter declined, citing a sore shoulder. Margaret then painted before the jurors in 53 minutes. The jury awarded her damages of $4 million.[4]


Walter Keane was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in October 7, 1915, one of 10 children from his father’s second marriage. His mother, Alma, was from Denmark, and his father, William R. Keane, was of Irish descent.[5] Keane grew up near the center of Lincoln and made money by selling shoes. In the early 1930s he moved to Los Angeles, California where he attended Los Angeles City College.[6] He moved to Berkeley, California in the 1940s with his bride, Barbara (née Ingham), and went into real estate, both were real estate brokers.



After the Oakland Hills Fire, my friend Michael took me up to Taurus street and showed me the ruins of Peter Stackpole’s home wherein valuable works of art and photography was destroyed. This was a monumental loss to the art world, and to the creative culture that made the Bay Area a Mecca to Bohemian Souls from all over the world.

Ralph Stackpole was a friend of George Sterling and stayed with him and the artists and poets that gathered at Lake Temescal in Oakland. Ralph befriended Diego and Freda Rivera the famous muralist and artist. Ralph helped design the Paramount theatre and a giant statue for Golden Gate Exposition, a goddess named Pacifica.

Peter Stackpole was a staff photographer for LIFE magazine and spent much time in Hollywood shooting the stars, among them, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor. Peter stayed on Errol Flynn’s boat and was privy to his exploits. My grandmother, Mary Magdalene Rosamond, chased Errol from her home at dawn when he and a friend came serenading.

Michael was a good friend of Jim Morrison and the poet, Michael McClure. He and his wife helped me investigate Christine Rosamond’s drowning, and helped with my father’s Trust. I was good friend with Michael’s mother and his two brothers since 1965.

Jon Presco

Ralph Ward Stackpole (May 1, 1885 – December 13, 1973) was an American sculptor, painter, muralist, etcher and art educator, San Francisco’s leading artist during the 1920s and 1930s. Stackpole was involved in the art and causes of social realism, especially during the Great Depression, when he was part of the Federal Art Project for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Stackpole was responsible for recommending that architect Timothy L. Pflueger bring Mexican muralist Diego Rivera to San Francisco to work on the San Francisco Stock Exchange and its attached office tower in 1930–31.[2] His son Peter Stackpole became a well-known photojournalist.

Throughout the 1930s, Stackpole worked frequently with architect Timothy Pflueger on various commissions. Beginning in 1929 when the two men first met, Stackpole was given responsibility for selecting the artists who worked to execute and augment Pflueger’s basic design scheme for the San Francisco Stock Exchange and its associated Tower, especially the Luncheon Club occupying the top floors of the Tower.[17] Stackpole said later of the experience, “the artists were in from the first. They were called in conference and assumed responsibility and personal pride in the building.”[18] At the Sansome Street tower entrance, Stackpole worked on a scaffolding with a crew of assistants to direct carve heroic figures in stone.[19] After the building was completed, Stackpole was finally successful in winning a commission for Rivera; Pflueger became convinced that Rivera would be the perfect muralist for decorating the staircase wall and ceiling of the Stock Exchange Club. This was a controversial selection considering Rivera’s leftist political beliefs in contradiction to the Stock Exchange’s capitalist foundation.[20] Into the mural, Rivera painted a figure of Stackpole’s son Peter holding a model airplane.

During his stay, Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo lived and worked at the studio, becoming in the process lifelong friends with Stackpole and Ginette. They met tennis champion Helen Wills Moody, an avid painter-hobbyist, who soon agreed to model for Rivera at the studio.[21] Neighbor Dixon saw the attention, and the American money being given to Rivera, and with etcher Frank Van Sloun organized a short-lived protest against the Communist artist. However, both Dixon and Van Sloun quickly realized that the San Francisco art world “oligarchy” who were obviously smitten with Rivera, including Stackpole’s well-connected patrons, were the same group that they themselves would need to support their own art aspirations.[10]

For much of 1931, Stackpole partnered with other artists to decorate Pflueger’s Paramount Theatre in Oakland; an Art Deco masterpiece. A bas-relief scene of horses, waves and a central winged figure was emplaced over the stage’s proscenium arch, finished in gold-toned metal leaf—the work jointly designed by Stackpole and Robert Boardman Howard.[22] The design worked into Pflueger’s metal grille ceiling grid likely came unattributed from Stackpole’s sketches. Pflueger was an able project leader; Stackpole later described his involvement: “He was the boss alright, as an architect should be … He would call the plays just as a symphony conductor does … There wasn’t a lock, molding, or window that he did not inspect in the drawings and in the actual building with the utmost thoroughness and care.”[23]

Stackpole worked through ten months of 1932 on a monumental pair of sculptures flanking the grand entrance of the Stock Exchange: a male and a female grouping showing the polarity of agriculture and industry, showing in their rounded human shapes the influence of Rivera. Chiseling into 15 short tons (14 t) of Yosemite granite, he wore goggles and a mask. The unveiling ceremony took place in the cold of New Year’s Eve, with Mayor Angelo Rossi joining Stackpole, Pflueger and artisans in smocks.[24]

RUTH DE JONG, ART DIRECTOR: The Gaspar de Portolá painting in Pynchon’s book is just a small piece in a hallway. But we decided it would serve well as a backdrop to a scene in which the mysteries of Los Angeles unfold. We liked the idea of having Doc look completely out of place in a private club. When we didn’t find an existing location, we re-dressed the lower lobby of the Los Angeles Theatre in downtown L.A. The room had a combination of wood and plaster paneling, and we added the booths, tables, chairs, and drapes.

DAVID CRANK, PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Paul really wanted to include the painting described in the book. He liked the idea of magnifying this explorer who led an 18th-century expedition through what is now Los Angeles. We found a mural of Portolá at the Compton post office. It matched the book’s description, down to the vegetable crates. I went to the post office one day and hoisted up a ladder to photograph the thing. I reworked the center portion of the mural and had it reproduced on canvas.

In 1841 Congress appropriate $30,000 to pay for a survey of the Oregon Trail and named Lt. John C. Fremont to head the expedition. Guided by Kit Carson and assisted with mapping by German-born cartographer Charles Preuss, Fremont conducted the first of two surveys from mid-June to mid-October of 1842. Upon his return to Washington, DC, he and his wife, Jesse Benton Fremont, prepared the official report to Congress.Jessie was the daughter of Senator Thomas Hart Benton who was anxious to have the U.S. expand beyond the Great Bend in the Missouri River at Kansas City. She was bright and beautiful and instrumental in helping Fremont draft a document that soared with rhetoric and symbolism.Fremont led five expeditions to explore the West between 1842-1853. The 1842 trip was in some ways most significant, because it outlined the Platte Valley South Pass route that would be used by most California-and Oregon-bound emigrants. Seven maps were drawn that traced the 1842 journey. Printed in 1846, the maps are based on Fremont’s field journal, as well as sketches and notes by topographer Charles Preuss.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (ISGM) or Fenway Court, as the museum was known during Isabella Stewart Gardner‘s lifetime, is a museum in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of BostonMassachusetts, located within walking distance of the Museum of Fine Arts (although the Museum of Fine Arts’s Huntington Avenue location was constructed after Fenway Court) and near the Back Bay Fens. The museum houses an art collection of world importance, including significant examples of EuropeanAsian, and American art, from paintings and sculpture to tapestries and decorative arts. In 1990, thirteen of the museum’s works were stolen; the high-profile crime remains unsolved and the artwork’s location is still unknown.




About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to I Sued A Getty – And Won!

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    With the help of my therapist I was able to handle one incredible problem at a time. Three weeks ago I finished reading Tom Snyder’s bio ‘When You Close Your Eyes’ and am appalled. The bio of my world famous sister – is Garth Benton’s book, and, a continuation of the Benton divorce conducted before the same judge that handled that vicious affair. I have been debating whether I should show the world of art two pages that assassinated Christine and her parents – along with Shannon Rosamond’s father. Artist’s bio never do what was done. Only after establishing our family history in Belmont and Crockett is there anything redeeming in exposing the horror story – that should be destroyed! https://rosamondpress.com/2020/12/26/i-sued-a-getty-and-won/

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