A beautifully rendered hillside view of the city and harbor of Avalon from life by Los Angeles artist Alex Lethen. It is a work of masterful observation, literally an artistic frozen moment of historic minute detail, including the two most famous Santa Catalina Island Company steamships: S.S. Catalina and S.S. Avalon. Lethen worked as a freelance artist and illustrator in the greater Los Angeles area from 1919 until his passing in 1949. He was a noted member of the International Artists Club Of Los Angeles, and is listed in Nancy Moure’s and Edan Hughes’ books on California artists.
A list of the rare landmarks depicted must start with the 1890-built Holly Hill House; the oldest building still existing in Avalon and the first of many listed in the state register of historic buildings. Below it, the Greek Amphitheater band stand is dressed in summer, possibly 4th-of-July, colors, while the stretch of main beach is well populated with just some of the million-plus visitors who would visit Catalina in an annual season. So many Pasadena residents would come each summer, for example, that they stationed their own local reporter on the island to send daily accounts back to the hometown paper.
The list continues on the water, where the white-hulled S.S. Catalina is moored at the steamer dock, and the former Virginia, S.S. Avalon, is coming into port. Avalon served from 1920 until 1951, and Catalina was launched in 1924 and steamed her last run in 1976. On the outward voyage, the steamers would cruise some of the coastline around sugarloaf point, shown here with the sugarloaf casino dance pavilion, the 1920-1928 predecessor to the grand ballroom, and the 80-foot height of little sugarloaf. The seemingly timeless island resort has gone through changes, some of which are so professionally and artistically detailed in this 1920s painting.
first name :