Art Across America, Volume 3
A Century of Regional Painting
William H. Gerts
“Idaho’s other, more professional, leading artist were both landscape painters. The earlier of these was Irish-born Joseph Patrick McMeekin, whose family came to American in 1872 and who settled on an island in the Snake River near Hagerman in the late 1880s. McMeekin was noted for his renderings of the distinctive lava canyons of southern Idaho and of scenery along the river, which flows through the southern part of the state, carving awe-inspiring basalt cliffs. The artist exhibited paintings of Shoshone and Twin Falls at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1891, won prizes at the Idaho Intermountain Fair in Boise in 1902, and showed work at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon, in 1905. In 1904 McMeekin opened a gallery – a combination art and photography studio – in Hagerman, then in 1910 moved to Napa, California, for the rest of his life.”
Joseph Patrick McMeekin
Osprey’s Nest, Snake River, n.d.
Oil on canvas, 10×13 in.
Idaho State Historical Society, Boise;
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Kock
The San Francisco Examiner:
Nov. 22, 1914
“Wm. H. Crocker, cast in David Warfield’s favorite role “The Auctioneer” will stand up in the rose room of the St. Francis Hotel Wednesday night and put under the hammer, a masterpiece done in oil by a California artist. Then Mr. Crocker will step down from the auctioneer’s box and Mayor Rolph will step up and undertake to prove that he is a better auctioneer than Mr. Crocker. And after Mayor Rolph has done his best, men and women prominent in the different walks of life will ascend the improvised platform and put up their painting on the block. President C. C. Moor of the exposition will see how big a price he can get for another work of art done in California. After him will come R. B. Hale, vice president of the exposition, Senator-elect James D. Phelan, James Woods, manager of the St. Francis: Bishop Hanna, Rabbi Meyer, and a number of the other well know San Franciscans, who have promised to try their hand at auctioneering. Then will come Miss May Bobson, the celebrated actress, who is on the week’s bill at the Orpheum and she will vie with Joseph Santley, the newly discovered Broadway star, the youngest star on the stage today, who opens at the Cort to-night.
All these distinguished auctioneers will not be assembled on one platform for the reason that they are particularly anxious to prove their efficiency in the untried calling, but because they are willing to lend their time and efforts in the aid of the Belgian relief fund.
Illustration of S.F.Examiner 1914 art auction article and photo of donated McMeekin painting.
(Painting of Millet family member)
(Article content to left of photo)
On the reception committee will be a number of art students, including Miss May Deussing. The St. Francis Hotel auction sale of paintings, etchings, pastels and figurines which will open at 8:30 o’clock Wednesday evening will be held under the auspices of the Press Club of San Francisco and all the works of art placed on sale have been contributed in aid of the suffering Belgians by the best known artists of San Francisco and California.
After guests of the Press Club have done their best to swell the fund, Arthur Bennett, who writes under the pen name of L. B. Yates, will auction off the unsold pictures.
Nearly every artist of prominence in San Francisco, the east bay region and Southern California has contributed works of art to the Belgian cause. One of the paintings to be offered at auction is an inspiring picture of one of the famous old Belgian cathedrals.
Walter Cox, The San Francisco portrait painter has contributed a blank canvas which in expected to bring a big price in spite of the fact that it will be offered without a mark on it. The buyer of the blank canvas has the privilege of having his portrait or the portrait of anyone he designates, painted on it by Cox.
Francis McComas, the landscape artist has contributed a painting which he calls “Arizona Cliffs”, and among other well know artists who have given representative works to the Belgian cause are:
C. Jannevold, C. Cadenasso, L. P. Latimer, Bertha S. Lee, H. Buthuff, Francis Todhunter, Sarah Bender De Wolfe, Annie L. Harmon, H. Gaw, Wm. Stranders, J. P. McMeekin, J. M. Griffin, W. C. Casmann, E. W. Currier, Jules Pages, Robert Harshe, A. S. Mac Leod, Theodore Wores, H. Del Mue, Mary Curtis Richardson, A. Beckwith and E. Woutermaertens.”