Chapter 5 - Julian Ritter - San Francisco Connection

Julian RitterI recently had the opportunity to go to San Francisco, where Julian had a very big presence early in his Career. This subject will be explored in depth in my upcoming new book.

In 1939 Julian was hired to paint Murals for the International Expo in San Francisco. This was an International  forum for the City, and be reminded, only 30 years removed from the massive Earthquake that all but destroyed the City.  Julian's work at the Expo was very well received, and led to several opportunities that would encompass the next 20 years plus.

He was asked, and accepted opportunities to show at many Galleries throughout San Francisco, including most notably  the Kotzbeck Gallery and later the Maxwell Gallery on Sutter Street. Not to mention countless others. Early in his career he was showing mostly his pen and ink drawings with watercolor washes.  It's easy to assume that these forums also led to acceptance and showing of his work  at The Gallery of Modern Art and The Newhouse Gallery in New York City in 1941. It was in fact the springboard for countless Gallery Shows he would have throughout his life. Until, he abandoned Galleries in favor of working directly with the Patrons he endeared.

Click the link to read the stories about Julians paintings at the club:


Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic ArtsWhile visiting San Francisco myself, in March of 2013, I was allowed to visit the Archive department of The San Francisco Fine Arts Museum, where at The Legion of Honor, one of Julian's early works is kept as part of the Permanent Collection. Moore and Hazel Achenbach were patrons of the Arts in San Francisco and at some point, probably around the time Julian had his first show at the Kotzbeck Gallery in the late 1930's or early 1940's, More Achenbach saw a pen and ink by Julian, and purchased it for his collection. The Piece is called "Bachelor Housekeeping" and is a superb example of Julian's draughtsmanship. The rendering is at once representational, yet fluid and filled with spirit. I can even see Julians own reflection in the mirror.  The piece was donated to the Museum  by the Achenbach Foundation, in 1963, upon the death of Moore Achenbach.

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic ArtsUntil  his withdrawal from the Gallery Scene Julian would ply his "peddling" trade and sell his painting to Gallery Owners, clients, and other interesting venues throughout San Francisco. Julian loved the energy, the free spirited nature of the people. He loved the Wharf, the sailors and the boats. Not to mention the early Speakeasys and Bordellos.

And things would change during the forties. He would serve in the Army, and marry Hilde in 1943. In 1947 and 48 Christine and Michael were born. He would move to a "real" home in Woodland Hills. And he became a professional artist. But nevertheless, Julian was still Julian.  There are more than one story about Julian's escapades in San Francisco.


 `Bachelor Housekeeping'   Julian Ritter  circa 1939

Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts


  • Jullian Ritter - San Francisco Connection
  • Jullian Ritter - San Francisco Connection


Click the link below to visit de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco:




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