Overlooked No More: Granville Redmond, Painter, Actor, Friend

This article is part of Overlooked, a series of obituaries about notable people whose deaths began in 1851 and were not reported in The Times.

In Classic silent movie opening scene Charlie Chaplin’s character, “City Lights” (1931), hangs comically from the statue while the sculptor watches in horror.

The actor, who plays the sculptor Granville Redmond, has starred in seven Chaplin films recognizable by his wild mane hair. Redmond is a hearing impaired person, and his performance was an early example of a hearing impaired person in Hollywood. Some believe that Redmond taught Chaplin, famous as Pantomime, how to use sign language.

But Redmond was, first and foremost, an artist who inspired Chaplin with his paintings of the natural beauty of California. A quiet, brown-toned scene. A lonely rock monument protruding from the island’s peninsula. Pastures dotted with trees lit by the warm sun. A blue nocturnal swamp under the dramatic glow of the moon. His paintings are considered one of the best examples of California Impressionism today.

Art critic Arthur Millier of the Los Angeles Times wrote in 1931 that Redmond was “unparalleled in the realistic depiction of California’s landscape.” Still, his style was never uniform. Some paintings exposed part of the canvas, leaving behind a thick deposit of pigment, while others had a smoother appearance.

Among other things, he was known for his paintings of golden poppies, the official flower of the state. His poppies emphasized his expression of the rolling meadows of the San Gabriel Valley, often accompanied by purple lupines. From time to time, they complemented the coastal scene with bursts of yellow highlights.

“He drew them better than anyone else. I don’t think we can discuss it,” said Scott A. Shields, who curated. Redmond’s work show Last year at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. “You can feel the seasons. In the spring, in the winter, you can feel the beginning of the summer.”

His poppy paintings have become a popular souvenir for tourists because of Redmond’s regrets. He liked the lonely painting scene.

“Unfortunately people won’t buy them,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “They all seem to want poppies.”

Chaplin supported Redmond’s painting career and provided a room to paint in the loft of an unused building in his studio lot. During the break, Chaplin visited Redmond there and quietly watched his work.

“Redmond portrays loneliness, but by a strange paradox loneliness is never loneliness,” Chaplin told Alice T. Terry in a 1920 article for the Jewish deaf in the magazine.


He was so grateful for Redmond’s paintings that he took pictures of movie celebrities from the wall so as not to spoil Redmond’s work placed on the mantelpiece.

“As you know, something confuses me about Redmond’s photography,” Chaplin reportedly said in 1925 in a newspaper for the deaf community, Silent Worker. “All of them have great joy.”

“Look at the joy of the sky, the riots of those flower colors,” he continued. “Sometimes I think the silence he lives in has developed into him in a way. We have a great ability for happiness that others lack.”

Glenn Bijl Richard Seymour Redmond was born on March 9, 1871 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the oldest of the five children of Charles and Elizabeth (Buck) Redmond. (He changed his name to Granville in 1898 to distinguish him from his uncle.) His father was a Union Civil War veteran and a worker who worked in several industries. did.

Redmond lost his ability to hear at the age of two after falling due to scarlet fever. The following year, his family moved to San Jose, California to live near the ranch-owning family.

In 1879, he enrolled in the California Deaf Dam educational institution and the Berkeley Blinds (now the California Deaf School). Redmond became familiar with painting under the guidance of another Deaf artist. Theophile Hope DestorellaIntroduced Saturday’s art class at California Design School. He went on to enroll in school. In 1893 he was selected by a faculty member to create the 1893 drawings Chicago World’s Fair..

Redmond communicated in sign language and writing, but with an emphasis on art, he never learned English and regretted the educational gap. “In the early days of school, I was always painting,” he writes.

After graduating, he studied in Paris. Academy Julian.. In 1895, his painting “Matin d’Hiver” (“Winter Morning”), depicting a barge on the banks of the Seine, was admitted to the Paris Salon, a high honor for artists of the time. He painted another painting at the Salon, hoping to win a medal, and painted in France for a few more years, but he struggled financially and was depressed back to California in 1898.

He married Carrie Anjan, a deaf person from Indiana, in 1899 and had three children.

Redmond’s early work Tonalist In nature, nods to his training and 19th century artists in San Francisco Barbizon school, A landscape painting he met in France. Many of his paintings are scenes from Southern California’s Terminal Island, Catalina Island, and Laguna Beach. He returned to Northern California in 1908 and lived and painted in Monterey, San Mateo and Marin County.

“Many newspapers will be able to see more than the average person because of his improved eyesight,” Shields, a curator at the Crocker Art Museum, said in a telephone interview. “Redmond believed in himself.”

Redmond’s work was well received, but due to lack of funding (partly due to the recession at the beginning of World War I), he returned to Los Angeles to try acting.

In the era of silent cinema, Redmond’s disability, coupled with his artistic tendencies, favored him. Chaplin regarded him as a natural part of his film, as Redmond expressed himself in a gesture, Shields said. The two men communicated as a set by signing each other.

From time to time, Redmond’s deafness worked that way on the plot lines. In Arthur Rosson’s “You’d Be Surprised” (1926), Redmond acted as a coroner in the guise of a deaf servant. Only viewers who knew sign language could follow the conversation.

The film also provided him with a new market for his art. Buyers included Hollywood elites such as Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.

Redmond died on May 24, 1935 from a complication of heart disease. He was 64 years old. (Chaplin died At 88 in 1977. )

Alice Terry, writer for The Jewish Deaf magazine, finds that her two friends have artistic similarities.

“For more than two years, these two have worked side by side,” she wrote in 1920. And Redmond quietly and yet effectively brightened everyone’s life with his brilliant and fascinating photographs on canvas. “

Overlooked No More: Granville Redmond, Painter, Actor, Friend Source link Overlooked No More: Granville Redmond, Painter, Actor, Friend

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