October 15, 2018: Visions of Marin: George Demont Otis, American Impressionist

by Laurie Thompson

Bayside Acres, San Rafael. Pastel by George Demont Otis.

We invite you to join us on Monday evening, October 15, 2018, at 6:30 pm to enjoy a film artist & historian Mary Gilardi made with her colleague Rebecca Sylia. It documents the life and work of American Impressionist painter George Demont Otis who lived and worked in Kentfield from 1934 until his death in 1961. Otis’ paintings capture the beauty of our landscape and, along the way, document our evolving history and geography.

Those of you who have been to our Map & Special Collections Annex for previous events, may have noticed our display of oil paintings & sketches documenting Marin in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. This wonderful collection of works by Otis was donated to us by Marin philanthropist Jeff Craemer and will serve as a point of departure for Marin historian Dewey Livingston for the second part of our program. Dewey will take us on a trip through time, using historic photographs and maps to show how the Marin scenes painted by Otis have changed over the years.

George Demont Oits in Southern California, c. 1923

A year before Otis’ death, the Marin I.J. featured Otis in a lengthy profile on Feb. 13, 1960. In that profile, Otis, details how his talent caught the eye of his school teachers and how he came to enroll in the Chicago Art Institute thanks to the backing of his Senator.

We also learn that in 1930, Otis moved to San Francisco where he met his future wife, Clara. Together, they “discovered Marin County and their future home site on a motor trip in 1932. After rounding a bend on Sir Francis Drake boulevard in Kentfield, they stopped to admire the view of Mt. Tamalpais. Across the street they spotted a sign: ‘Lots for sale.’ ‘We decided then and there to buy,’ said Otis.” Otis ends by commenting to the reporter, “I have worked in thousands of places throughout the United States, but I wouldn’t trade Marin for the whole bunch.”

Learn more about the life and work of George Demont Otis on Monday October 15, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the California Room Map & Special Collections Annex at 1600 Los Gamos, Suite 182 (via Lobby B), in San Rafael.

We look forward to seeing you then!

Originally published at https://annetkent.kontribune.com.

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