Guide to the Camille Solon Drawings Collection, 1900-1952

Special Collections Departments
Robert E. Kennedy Library
1 Grand Avenue
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0605
Phone: (805) 756-2305
Fax: (805) 756-5770
URL: http://www.lib.calpoly.edu/specialcollections/
Email: archives@lib.calpoly.edu
© 2008
Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Camille Solon Drawings Collection, 1900-1952

Special Collections Department



Robert E. Kennedy Library

1 Grand Avenue

California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

Contact Information

  • Special Collections Department
  • Robert E. Kennedy Library
  • 1 Grand Avenue
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
  • Phone: 805/756-2305
  • Fax: 805/756-5770
  • Email: archives@lib.calpoly.edu
  • URL: http://www.lib.calpoly.edu/departments/special_collections/index.html
Processed by:
Denise Fourie and Catherine Trujillo
Date Completed:
2008
Encoded by:
Byte Managers, 2008
© 2008 Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Camille Solon Drawings Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1900-1952 (bulk 1910-1913; 1950-1952)
Collection number: MS 106
Creator: Solon, Camille Antoine Arnoux, 1877-1960
Extent: 6 boxes.
Language:

English
Repository: Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, California 93407
Abstract: This collection contains approximately 225 landscape sketches by English muralist and ceramist Camille Solon. Items in the collection include re-worked pencil sketches of rural locations and landscapes in Britain and northern California, where he lived most of his adult years. Despite his extensive work at San Simeon, this collection contains only one pencil sketch from the Hearst estate. A few watercolors and some conté crayon sketches with ink are also included in the collection. Donated in 2001.

Provenance

Donated in 2001.

Access

Collection is open to qualified researchers by appointment only. Form more information on access policies and to obtain a copy of the Researcher Registration form, please visit the Special Collections Access page. Advance notice for use required.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

In order to reproduce, publish, broadcast, exhibit, and/or quote from this material, researchers must submit a written request and obtain formal permission from Special Collections, Cal Poly, as the owner of the physical collection.
Photocopying of material is permitted at staff discretion and provided on a fee basis. Photocopies are not to be used for any purpose other than for private study, scholarship, or research. Special Collections staff reserves the right to limit photocopying and deny access or reproduction in cases when, in the opinion of staff, the original materials would be harmed.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item]. Camille Solon Drawings Collection, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Abbreviations Used:
c.: circa
calif.: California
w/: with
n.pag.: no page

Biographical Note

Muralist and ceramist Camille Solon was born March 27, 1877, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, a region known for its potteries. A descendant of the Arnoux family, master ceramists in France, Camille was one of nine children born to Louis Marc Solon and Laure Arnoux Solon. Solon's father was an award-winning potter famous for the "pâte-sur-pâte" technique. Many of Camille Solon's siblings became respected artisans as well. Camille studied under his father and in London at the Slade School and University College.
In 1914, at the age of 37, Camille emigrated to California to work with his brother, Albert, on a ceramic therapy program for tuberculosis patients at the Arequipa Sanatorium in Fairfax, California. Under Albert Solon's supervision and with financial support from Phoebe Apperson Hearst, the pottery gained a reputation for producing a wide variety of successful styles and designs.
In 1915, at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, the Arequipa Tuberculosis Sanatorium exhibited their ceramic works in the fair's Palace of Education. The Arequipa pottery ceased operation in 1918.
By 1920, Albert Solon and his partner Frank Schemmel formed Solon and Schemmel in San Jose, California, to manufacture wall and floor tiles. Tiles from Solon and Schemmel can be found at William Randolph Hearst's San Simeon estate. It is likely that Camille Solon worked for his brother's tile company during its early years of operation.
Camille Solon was retained by San Simeon's architect, Julia Morgan, to design the mosaics of blue-and-gold Venetian glass tile used in the Roman Pool. During his decade or more in Hearst's employment, Solon also designed and painted the murals in the Gothic Study of Casa Grande, as well as other decorative detail work on the estate.
In the early 1940s, Solon worked with Julia Morgan again to design murals and ceiling decorative details for the Chapel of the Chimes crematorium in Oakland. Other notable Bay Area work of Solon's includes "The Creation," an interior mural in the Temple of Religion and Tower of Peace building at the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco.
Solon married Sylvia Wallace, a fellow British immigrant, in 1920. In his later years, Solon suffered from failing eyesight and used a German shepherd guide dog to aid him. Camille Solon passed away in Marin County on January 8, 1960.
Sources
"Artist Solon Dies at 82 After Illness." Marin Independent Journal 9 January 1960: no pag.
Atkisson, Barbara. "Artist in Hearst's Castle." San Francisco News 25 April 1958: no pag.
Aviles, Brian A., Philip W. Johnson, and Robert C. Pavlik. Tile & Terracotta In San Luis Obispo County. Healdsburg, CA: The Heritage Foundation, 1996.
California Death Index, 1940-1997, Ancestry.com
"Camille Antoine Solon (1878 1960)," Ask ART: The Artists' Bluebook. http://www.askart.com/askart/s/camille_antoine_solon/camille_antoine_solon.aspx 
"Camille Solon: San Simeon Muralist Dies." San Francisco Examiner 10 January 1960: Sec 1, pg. 10.
Commanday, Mary Floris. Camille Antoine (Arnoux) Solon. Piedmont, CA.: Commanday, 1989. [self-published]
Hunter, Stanley Armstrong. Temple of Religion and Tower of Peace at the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. San Francisco: Temple of Religion and Tower of Peace, Inc., 1940.
"M. V. Artist—Solon Decorates Larkspur Altar". Mill Valley Record 10 January 1940: no pag.
Official Guide Book, 1940: Golden Gate International Exposition on San Francisco Bay. San Francisco: The Crocker Company, 1940.
"Pacific Coast News." [column] The Clay-Worker February 1929: 181.
Pavlik, Robert C. "The Tile Art of San Simeon." Tile Heritage IV.2 (Winter 1997/1998): 3-11.
U. S. Census of Population, 1920, 1930, Ancestry.com

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains approximately 225 sketches by artist Camille Solon, whose work appears throughout the Hearst estate at San Simeon, California. This collection consists primarily of re-worked pencil sketches of rural locations and landscapes in Britain and northern California including his native Stoke-on-Trent, England; Northern Wales; and Marin and Sonoma Counties north of San Francisco (where he lived his adult years). There is one pencil sketch of the Hearst estate at San Simeon, California. There are also a few watercolors and some conté crayon sketches with ink. The earliest piece in the collection is dated 1900.
The sketches were originally housed in three-ring binders. They have been removed from the binders and rehoused in their original order in acid-free folders.
The original binder names have been retained as headings for Subseries B. Mill Valley [California] Sketches and Subseries D. Sketches, 1952. The binder for Subseries A entitled Sonoma/Conway has been renamed British Sketches and the binder for Subseries C Belvedere Sketches has been renamed California Sketches to more accurately reflect their contents.
Many sketches have handwritten titles and these are noted in the guide. Sketches that are untitled have descriptions in brackets which were added for ease of identification. The majority of the works are pencil sketches; the few watercolor and conté crayon pieces have been noted in the folder level descriptions.
Where possible, the provenance, or original organization, of the papers has been preserved. The collection is housed in six boxes and arranged in one series:
Series 1. Sketches, 1900-1952
The series is divided into four subseries:
A. British Sketches
B. Mill Valley [California] Sketches
C. California Sketches
D. Sketches and Inventory, 1952.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Artisans -- California -- San Simeon
Hearst, William Randolph, 1863-1951 -- Homes and haunts -- California - Drawings
San Simeon Ranch (California) -- History -- Drawings
Solon, Camille Antoine Arnoux, 1877-1960
England -- Drawings
Wales -- Drawings
Marin County (California) -- Drawings
Landscape painting

Genre and Forms of Materials

Pencil sketches
Watercolors
Conté crayon sketches with ink

Related Material

Related Collections:
Special Collections, Cal Poly:
Julia Morgan Papers (MS 10)
Julia Morgan—Sara Holmes Boutelle Collection, 1877-1958 (MS 27)
Sara Holmes Boutelle Papers, 1972-1999 (MS 141)
Edward G. Trinkkeller Papers, 1896-1999 (MS 97)

Container List

 

1. Sketches and Paintings, 1900-1952

Scope and Content Note

Contains four subseries: A. British Sketches, B. Mill Valley [California] Sketches, C. California Sketches, and D. Sketches and Inventory, 1952.
 

A. British Sketches, 1900-1952

Scope and Content Note

Contains primarily sketches from England and Wales arranged in original order. Many folders contain as many as five small sketches, which were glued to both sides of a scrapbook sheet. 2 boxes.
Box 1, Folder 1

Croxden Abbey, 1909,

Box 1, Folder 1

Croxden Abbey, 1907

Box 1, Folder 1

Alton Convent

Box 1, Folder 2

Alton

Box 1, Folder 2

Untitled [bridge, convent]

Box 1, Folder 2

Untitled [bridge, pine trees]

Box 1, Folder 3

Draycott Cross in Distance

Box 1, Folder 3

Untitled, 1910

Scope and Content Note

[child, trees]
Box 1, Folder 4

Alton

Box 1, Folder 4

Wooton Lodge, 1905

Box 1, Folder 4

Untitled [woodscape]

Box 1, Folder 4

Old Wych Elms. Leigh, 1910

Box 1, Folder 5

Alton, The Bridge

Box 1, Folder 5

Alton, 1910

Box 1, Folder 5

Chadwick's Farm, Alton. 41- per day

Box 1, Folder 6

Hollington, Staffordshire

Box 1, Folder 6

Conway, 1913

Box 1, Folder 6

Conway [with cows], 1913

Box 1, Folder 7

Conway River, 1913

Box 1, Folder 7

Conway Valley, 1913

Box 1, Folder 8

Untitled [landscape, bare trees with figures]

Box 1, Folder 8

Sychnant Pass

Box 1, Folder 9

Conway, 1913

Box 1, Folder 9

Untitled, 1912

Scope and Content Note

[figure with dog]
Box 1, Folder 9

Conway [boat], 1913

Box 1, Folder 9

Conway, 1914

Scope and Content Note

[Aber Conway, built A.D. 1300]
Box 1, Folder 10

From top of Snowdon (13), 1913

Box 1, Folder 10

Untitled [mountain path]

Box 1, Folder 10

Sychnant Pass, 1913

Box 1, Folder 10

Glan Conway, 1913

Box 1, Folder 10

Conway, 1913

Scope and Content Note

[landscape, low tide, very small]
Box 1, Folder 11

Conway, 1913

Scope and Content Note

[fishermen with boat and nets]
Box 1, Folder 12

Conway, 1913

Scope and Content Note

[2 trees]
Box 1, Folder 12

Conway, 1913

Scope and Content Note

[boats]
Box 1, Folder 12

Old Conway Road, 1913

Box 1, Folder 12

Untitled [bayscape, very small]

Box 1, Folder 12

Conway Valley, 1913

Box 1, Folder 13

Amlwch

Box 1, Folder 14

Milwich, The pond and rustic bridge, 1907

Box 1, Folder 14

Milwich, 1913

Box 1, Folder 14

Milwich Hall, 1907

Box 1, Folder 14

Untitled, [subject unknown]

Box 1, Folder 14

Milwich Hall, The greenhouse, 1907

Box 1, Folder 15

Untitled [house], 1907

Box 1, Folder 15

Untitled [window], 1907

Box 1, Folder 15

Milwich, 1913

Scope and Content Note

[lane, fence, buildings]
Box 1, Folder 16

Nell of Milwich Hall [mending cloth]

Box 1, Folder 17

Nell Knight, 1912

Box 1, Folder 17

First sketch of Milwich Hall, home of Sir John Knight and Mr. and Mr. Coupe from Smithy Hill

Box 1, Folder 18

Swithanly, 1910

Box 1, Folder 18

Milwich, 1907

Box 1, Folder 19

Garden. Milwich Hall, 1913

Scope and Content Note

[also at top: Milwich Hall, 1907, 1912-1913]
Box 1, Folder 19

Milwich Hall, 1907

Scope and Content Note

[chimney]
Box 1, Folder 19

Milwich Hall, 1907

Scope and Content Note

[side of house, roof]
Box 1, Folder 19

Untitled, 1907

Scope and Content Note

[side of house, grounds]
Box 1, Folder 20

Milwich Hall (north)

Box 1, Folder 20

Untitled [hall, woman picking flowers; watercolor], 1912

Box 1, Folder 20

Nell of Milwich, 1912

Box 1, Folder 20

Milwich, window seat, 1912

Scope and Content Note

[potted flower]
Box 1, Folder 20

Untitled [hall, cart with horse; corner torn]

Box 1, Folder 21

Head of Shakespeare, in garden at Milwich Hall, 1913

Box 1, Folder 21

Untitled [girl sketching]

Box 2, Folder 1

Glossary of place names used in sketches and a map of Staffordshire, England

Box 2, Folder 2

Church, Roseville

Box 2, Folder 3

Lakeside

Box 2, Folder 4

Norbury Church, Ellaston in distance, 1905

Box 2, Folder 5

Gardening, October 9, 1952

Box 2, Folder 6

Untitled [shrouded figures on steps]

Box 2, Folder 7

From Homestead Blvd., M.V. [Mill Valley], September 17, 1951

Box 2, Folder 8

S. San Rafael

Box 2, Folder 8

Untitled [landscape]

Box 2, Folder 8

Cotton College, 1909

Box 2, Folder 9

Untitled [vase with blooming bulb flowers], January 30, 1925

Box 2, Folder 9

Untitled [distant house in landscape]

Box 2, Folder 9

Untitled [barn]

Box 2, Folder 10

Sonoma

Box 2, Folder 10

Untitled [landscape with animals, grid lines]

Box 2, Folder 10

Untitled [landscape with animals]

Box 2, Folder 10

Untitled [landscape]

Box 2, Folder 11

Untitled [landscape with animals]

Box 2, Folder 11

Untitled [landscape with boy]

Box 2, Folder 11

Untitled [rocks]

Box 2, Folder 11

Untitled [animal crossing river]

Box 2, Folder 12

Afternoon

Box 2, Folder 12

Near Bye

Box 2, Folder 12

Untitled [figure in field]

Box 2, Folder 12

Untitled [horses]

Box 2, Folder 13

Evening Light on the Hills, July 31, 1951

Box 2, Folder 13

Untitled [mountain]

Box 2, Folder 14

Sonoma

Box 2, Folder 14

Untitled [tree with figures]

Box 2, Folder 14

Untitled [hills]

Box 2, Folder 15

Sonoma Creek, evening

Box 2, Folder 15

Sonoma, oaks

Box 2, Folder 15

Untitled [swimming hole]

Box 2, Folder 15

Sonoma

Box 2, Folder 15

Untitled [landscape with animal]

Box 2, Folder 16

Swynnerton

Box 2, Folder 16

Weaver Hills

Box 2, Folder 16

Swynnerton

Box 2, Folder 17

Untitled, 1910

Box 2, Folder 17

Hilderstone, May, 1910

Box 2, Folder 18

Swynnerton

Box 2, Folder 18

Ellaston

Box 2, Folder 18

Untitled [rooftop of barn]

Box 2, Folder 19

Alton, August 31,1900

Box 2, Folder 19

Alton- Convent, 1900

Box 2, Folder 19

Alton, 1908

Box 2, Folder 19

Alton, 1910

Box 2, Folder 20

On Croxden, 1910

Box 2, Folder 20

Cotton College (1887- 1893), 1909

Box 2, Folder 20

Alton, 1910

Box 2, Folder 20

Alton, 1910

Box 2, Folder 21

Wrekin Hills, 1906

Box 2, Folder 21

Alton, 1910

Box 2, Folder 21

Alton

 

B. Mill Valley Sketches, 1940-1952

Scope and Content Note

Contains sketches of places in and around Solon's neighborhood of Mill Valley, California, in Marin Co., arranged in original order. 2 boxes.
Box 3, Folder 1

Mill Valley Sketches [cover sheet]

Box 3, Folder 2

S.F. From Alto [Marin County]

Box 3, Folder 3

Untitled [landscape and houses; conté crayon]

Box 3, Folder 4

A Glimpse of the Bay

Box 3, Folder 5

Untitled [child fishing; conté crayon]

Box 3, Folder 6

Untitled [farm]

Box 3, Folder 7

Untitled [landscape]

Box 3, Folder 8

Untitled [landscape; conté crayon]

Box 3, Folder 9

Untitled [people on woodland path; conté crayon]

Box 3, Folder 10

Untitled [child on tree stump; conté crayon]

Box 3, Folder 11

Untitled [squirrel in foreground; conté crayon]

Box 3, Folder 12

Untitled [figure on fallen log; conté crayon]

Box 3, Folder 13

Untitled [children and squirrel by tree stump]

Box 4, Folder 1

Bay Tree [2 sketches]

Box 4, Folder 2

At Corte Madera, October, 1940

Box 4, Folder 3

Mt. Diabglo [sic] from Ethel Ave., September 11, 1951

Box 4, Folder 4

Untitled [girl feeding ducks]

Box 4, Folder 5

From Corte Madera Road, June 12, 1951

Box 4, Folder 6

Sun Setting on the Quarry--Near California City, June 14, 1951

Box 4, Folder 7

S.F. From Tiburon

Box 4, Folder 8

Tamalpais

Box 4, Folder 9

Untitled [girl on tree stump]

Box 4, Folder 10

Blythedale Grove, M.V. [Mill Valley], August 1, 1951

Box 4, Folder 11

Tamalpais from Belvedere

Box 4, Folder 12

At the Beach, December, 1952

Box 4, Folder 13

Untitled [valley view]

Box 4, Folder 14

Watering the Cows, December, 1952

Box 4, Folder 15

Under the Old Oak Tree, December, 1952

Box 4, Folder 16

Tiburon Road, January 17, 1952

Box 4, Folder 17

Belvedere, October 28, 1951

Box 4, Folder 18

Untitled [figures at lakeshore; conté crayon]

Box 4, Folder 19

Tiburon, May 1950

Box 4, Folder 20

Yachting-Tiburon

Box 4, Folder 21

Belvedere [pencil and ink]

Box 4, Folder 21

Untitled [figures on shore] [on verso]

Box 4, Folder 22

Walking

Box 4, Folder 23

Boating, December, 1952

Box 4, Folder 24

Going to Church, November, 1952

Box 4, Folder 25

Road Through the Hills

Box 4, Folder 26

Shoeing the Old Mare, October, 1952

 

C. California Sketches, 1949-1952

Scope and Content Note

Contains many sketches of places in Marin Co.; also includes sketches of Isle of Man (England) and one sketch of Hearst's San Simeon estate, arranged in original order. 1 box.
Box 5, Folder 1

Belvedere Sketches by Camille Solon [cover sheet]

Box 5, Folder 2

Untitled [mountainscape; watercolor]

Box 5, Folder 3

Untitled [village with oxen; watercolor]

Box 5, Folder 4

Tiburon, April 3, 1949

Box 5, Folder 4

Tiburon, April 17, 1949

Box 5, Folder 4

Untitled [tree]

Box 5, Folder 5

The Sleepy Hills, June 25

Box 5, Folder 6

Untitled [Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Co.], April 12, 1949

Box 5, Folder 7

Untitled [hills, tree, house]

Box 5, Folder 8

La Cuesta Encantada, W. R. Hearst Ranch, December 2, 1952

Box 5, Folder 9

The Afterglow

Box 5, Folder 10

Pastoral

Box 5, Folder 11

Laxey, I.O.M. [Island of Man], 1911, October 25, 1952

Box 5, Folder 12

Drayton Manor, October 1952

Box 5, Folder 13

The Castle on the Hill

Box 5, Folder 14

North Wales, October 1952

Box 5, Folder 15

Untitled [bay scene]

Box 5, Folder 16

Alto [Marin County], April 1949

Box 5, Folder 17

Lagoon, Belvedere, July 1950

Box 5, Folder 18

The Creek, August 10, 1951

Box 5, Folder 19

Untitled [bay scene with figures]

Box 5, Folder 20

Corinthian Island

Box 5, Folder 21

The Terrace at "Highlands", 1951

Box 5, Folder 22

Ranching, November 21

Box 5, Folder 23

Hiking and Fishing, November 22, 1952

Box 5, Folder 24

California Farm, October 13, 1951

Box 5, Folder 25

Untitled [bayside, boats and pier]

Box 5, Folder 26

Untitled [road with cart]

Box 5, Folder 27

Evening [landscape in grid]

Box 5, Folder 28

Convict Ship Douglas, I.O.M. [Isle of Man], October 1952

Box 5, Folder 29

From Corte Madera Road, June 1951

Box 5, Folder 30

Belvedere, December 5, 1951

Box 5, Folder 31

Receding Tide

Box 5, Folder 32

Untitled [clouds over bay]

Box 5, Folder 33

Old Mill Grounds, July 9, 1951

 

D. Sketches and Inventory, 1952

Scope and Content Note

Contains a handwritten inventory for Solon's sketches from 1952, with titles of each sketch and a number listed. The contents of this inventory do not match the holdings of this subseries. Several of the listed sketches appear to have been moved by Solon to some of the other subseries. 1 box.
Box 6, Folder 1

Inventory, 1952

Box 6, Folder 2

Woodland Scene

Box 6, Folder 3

Suggestion for Frame

Box 6, Folder 4

Peaceful Evening in Wales, October 1952

Box 6, Folder 5

Showery Weather, October 10, 1952

Box 6, Folder 6

Grazing, November 18, 1952

Box 6, Folder 7

The Farmer & His Cows

Box 6, Folder 8

Cottagers, October 4, 1952

Box 6, Folder 9

Dreamland, November 1952

Box 6, Folder 10

Harvesting, October 1952

Box 6, Folder 11

Muir Beach, September 25 1952

Box 6, Folder 12

Clam Digging, October 1952

Box 6, Folder 13

The Ruined Mill, Pwllheli [Wales], October 1952

Box 6, Folder 14

The Walls. Chester, October 1952

Box 6, Folder 15

Gypsies. Deganwy, N.W. [North Wales], October 1952

Box 6, Folder 16

Boats on the Conway, October 1952

Box 6, Folder 17

The Abandoned Quarry, October 1952

Box 6, Folder 18

The Cottage by the Lake, November 1, 1952

Box 6, Folder 19

Hot Summer Day, November 10, 1952

Box 6, Folder 20

Holiday Time, November 2, 1952

Box 6, Folder 21

A Breezy Day at the Beach, November 1952

Box 6, Folder 22

Conway Castle-Moonlight, November 2, 1952

Box 6, Folder 23

Waterfall and Rainbow Welsh Mountains, November 3, 1952

Box 6, Folder 24

Milking, November 1952

Box 6, Folder 25

The Road Across the Common, November 1952

Box 6, Folder 26

Harvesting, November 1952

Box 6, Folder 27

Hi! Clouds Lo! City, November 15, 1952

Box 6, Folder 28

Sunday Worship, November 1952

Box 6, Folder 29

The Little Shepherdess, November 21

Box 6, Folder 30

Swimming, November 1952

Box 6, Folder 31

Sailing, November 23, 1952

Box 6, Folder 32

Chill December, November 1952

Box 6, Folder 33

Evening Across the Conway, December 1, 1952

Box 6, Folder 34

Little Girl in Muir Woods, December 1952

Box 6, Folder 35

The Disappearing Road, December 1952

Box 6, Folder 36

Fishing, October 1952