In the Special Collections department of the F. W. Olin Library, Mills College, Oakland, are more than 5,000 items from Albert Bender’s estate. For a description and finding aid, see http://www.mills.edu/academics/library/special_collections/sc_amb_coll.php.
It’s from a postcard representing the Golden Gate and the Panama Pacific International Exposition that took place in the Marina District of San Francisco in 1915. Albert Bender helped make insurance arrangements for the fair. Anne Bremer exhibited five paintings and was awarded a Bronze Medal.
A portion of the dome and arcade of the Palace of Fine Arts (where Anne’s work was shown) is at the lower left of the image. The Palace of Fine Arts was designed by Bernard Maybeck and still stands today, the only remnant of the exposition, after a series of restorations.
For several years I have been researching and writing about late-19th-century and early-20th-century California art, architecture, museums and patronage. My major long-term project is a dual biography tentatively titled Kissing Cousins, AMB and AMB: The Artistic Lives of San Francisco’s Albert M. Bender and Anne M. Bremer. Meanwhile, I would like to introduce you to these two remarkable people who had a major impact on the Bay Area cultural landscape.
Anne Bremer (1868-1923) was a highly regarded San Francisco-based artist, noteworthy for her interest in modernism and experimentation, especially after she studied in New York and Paris in 1910-1911. She held a number of leadership roles in the Bay Area art community. Her career was cut tragically short by leukemia. Albert Bender (1866-1941) was her cousin and beloved life partner. A successful insurance broker, he became a major patron of artists, museums, libraries, and performing arts organizations. Through Anne’s influence, he was particularly open to modernism, and he helped establish what are now the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Mills College Art Museum.
To read more, click on “About Albert Bender” and “About Anne Bremer” at the top of this page.