About the artist:
Charles Griffin Farr was born in 1908 in Birmingham, Alabama. He studied in New York City and at the Academie Americaine in Paris, France. He died in San Francisco in 1997.
Mr. Farr gifted many paintings and drawings to the University Collection, some of which are currently on display at University Center, representing the full spectrum of his artistic career.
As a young artist in the late 1930s, Charles Griffin Farr took part in the Works Progress Administration programs (WPA) and trained as a restorer of ancient pottery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Farr took a special interest in the Met’s American painting tradition. Through his study of American artists like Peale, Kensett, and Eakins, Farr became convinced of a unifying character more theoretical than stylistic of an American tradition of realism. He moved to San Francisco after WWII and lived and worked on Potrero Hill.
Charles Griffin Farr was a painter in the American Realist tradition whose oeuvre has not been affected by fad or current, but through a stoic personal sojourn has created an individual painting style which assimilated his appreciation of the past with a sophisticated understanding of modernist theory and aesthetic. His influences range from classical Renaissance through 17th century Dutch painting to contemporary issues and ideas of visual perception. His perception is predicated in careful observation, precise representation and highly-structured compositions, the result of which are masterful, magical, realist paintings endowing the artist’s subjects with a mysterious, supernatural quality that seems to suspend time and space.
Charles Griffin Farr was represented by the Hackett Freedman Gallery in San Francisco until it closed in 2009.
The current display of Charles Griffin Farr’s work and the conjoined label copy within the University Center were updated by History of Art and Visual Culture students. Charles Griffin Farr Exhibitions at the Sesnon Gallery:
in the Sesnon Underground
Curated by Ava Kristy works by Charles Griffin Farr
Feb 19–29, 2020
Curated works by Natalie Ortiz in conversation with UC Santa Cruz student exhbiiton:
Underground Figurative Show 2017
April 5- 21, 2017
in the Charles Griffin Farr Screening and Drawing Room, at the Sesnon Underground
You will see unique works of ink on paper, charcoal, and graphite figures from 1930s -1980s.
Charles Griffin Farr Screening and Drawing Room 2016
Curated works by Carrie Hoffman
Charles Griffin Farr: Formal Complexity Exhibition 2013
curated by Shelby Graham and UCSC students
September 19 - October 19, 2013
Reimagining American Realism: Works by Charles Griffin Farr Exhibition 2010
For more information about the collection please email: