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New Exhibit at Coronado Museum

CORONADO -- She painted portraits of Admirals, Medal of Honor winners, and other fascinating personalities of her era. Her paintings received international acclaim. But Mary McCartin is best known for what she loved most, painting portraits of service children as gifts for their parents.

The Coronado Museum of History & Art announces the opening of it's newest art installation, "Generations: A Family's Legacy Through Art," January 18, 2006, which is based largely on the work of Mary McCartin and her father, William Dana Parish.

"Generations" is presented in French Salon-style, with portraits, landscape paintings, and pencil sketches gathered together to illustrate the profound degree of talent demonstrated by this unusual Coronado family.

A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (class of 1917), Mary McCartin attributed much of her talent to the teachings of her father, who became a San Diego resident in his later years.

Parish, a fine classical painter, studied in New York at the Arts Students League and at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He was a pupil of John Singer Sargent and William Chase, and spent two years in Paris working under Benjamin Constant.

"This exhibit is very special in that you can see the world through their eyes," said Ann Patterson, who still resides in her mother's house and studio on Coronado. "My mother and grandfather had a very wonderful relationship, and their love for each other is evident throughout their paintings."

A featured painting on view in the exhibit is an early portrait Mary did of her father, alongside a self-painted portrait of Parish. Both paintings were entered in the National Museum in Washington, D.C., where they received special awards and critical acclaim in 1937.

Mary spent two years in Annapolis, and during this time painted numerous personalities which included the Ambassador of Argentina's wife, a hero of the American Indian wars, and two Congressional Medal of Honor winners (many of these will be featured in the show).

Her 1935 portrait of Admiral Ernest J. King, then Commanding Officer of North Island Naval Air Station, launched her career when he became Chief of Naval Operations during WWII. Once the Admiral had his painting crated and shipped from Washington D.C. to Coronado so that Mary could add his new stripes and medals.

At Christmas time Mary worked night and day to paint portraits of service children to send to their parents. Her vivacious personality and youthful charm kept children at ease during the often-long sittings, and brought out the best of their youthfulness and innocence.

"Generations" captures a friendlier time, a slower time. The father-daughter painters created scenes of people and places that stirred their emotions, and their work will have no less effect on today's audience.

An exhibit opening for "Generations" will be held Friday, January 27, 6-8 p.m. Admission is $10, food and drink will be available, and the public is invited. The McCartin-Patterson family will be present to meet visitors and talk about the stories behind the paintings. The exhibit runs through Feb. 23, 2006.

The Coronado Museum of History & Art and Coronado Historical Association is open Mon-Fri, 9-5; and Sat-Sun, 10-4. For more information call 619.435.7242, or visit www.coronadohistory.org. Admission to the museum is a suggested donation of $4.

Joseph Ditler
Executive Director
Coronado Historical Association
Museum of History & Art

1100 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118-USA
Office Phone: (619) 435-7242
E-mail: joe@coronadohistory.org



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