Granville Redmond (1871–1935)

Considered one of the first California-based impressionist artists, Redmond is best known for his landscape paintings. Born in Philadelphia in 1871, he was originally named Grenville Richard Seymour Redmond before changing his name to Granville in 1889. At the age of three, Redmond contracted scarlet fever, an illness that caused severe damage to his hearing and resulted in Redmond becoming permanently deaf and mute. When the Redmond family relocated to San Jose, California in 1874, he enrolled at the Berkeley School for the Deaf, where he received art instruction from Theophilus Hope D’Estrella, also a deaf artist. D’Estrella recognized Redmond’s innate talent for painting and encouraged him to pursue a more rigorous course of study in art. Upon graduating from the Berkeley School, Redmond enrolled at the San Francisco School of Design, where he received a gold medal and a scholarship to attend the Académie Julian in Paris.

After returning to California, Redmond developed a friendship with Charlie Chaplin, who cast him in several of his movies, including as the sculptor in City Lights (1931). Redmond continued to gain increasing recognition for his landscapes, which featured a skillful use of color and light and often depicted brilliant renderings of wildflower fields. Redmond’s paintings were exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1895, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle in 1909, and the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. In 1989, the Oakland Museum of California honored Redmond with a retrospective. Today, Redmond’s work may be found in prestigious private and public collections, including the Laguna Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, the Irvine Museum, Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, and the de Young Museum.
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