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Crocker Art Museum acquires John “Jack” Frost "The Beach, Santa Monica"
John “Jack” Frost (1890-1937), The Beach, Santa Monica, 1921.

SACRAMENTO, CA.- The Crocker Art Museum has acquired “The Beach, Santa Monica,” by American artist John “Jack” Frost (1890-1937). Painted in 1921, the oil on canvas becomes a signature work in the Crocker Art Museum's collection through the generosity of Melza and Ted Barr.

The son of artist parents Arthur Burdett "Bo" Frost and Emily Phillips, Frost was raised in Philadelphia, Penn., but he moved at age 16 with his family to Paris, where his skills were enhanced at the Acadèmie Julian. He also studied in Giverny, the mecca of Impressionism, where he came to know and visit Claude Monet. In 1911, Frost contracted tuberculosis and was hospitalized until returning to the Eastern United States in 1914. In 1916, he embarked on a two-month trek to the Sierra with artist Guy Rose and became fascinated with the American West. Later, he returned to California, where he met his old friend from Giverny, Alson Clark.

In 1922, Frost was awarded an honorable mention at the Southwest Museum's first Competitive Exhibition of California Artists, featuring many of the state's most notable painters. The following year, he took first place for Landscapes at the event. He was represented in three traveling exhibitions and two single-person shows, and he received a commission to paint murals for the prestigious Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.

“The Beach, Santa Monica” was completed during this period. Frost’s inspiration for its creation came from several visits he and Clark made to the beach, and Clark’s own beach scene, “The Weekend, Mission Beach,” can be seen hanging in the same gallery. On one such trip (August 27, 1921), Clark wrote: "Jack took me in his car to S.M. We painted a 20 x 24 of a very crowded beach. Had a bully swim later and a lot of fun sitting in the sand watching people." Soon after, Frost painted this work featuring not only the coast and distant architecture but people playing on the beach and sunbathing under brightly colored umbrellas.

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