Eugene Perrine: Flour Mill, Moscow, Idaho
Eugene Perrine: Flour Mill, Moscow, Idaho. 1931. Back label says Perrine was a student artist at University of Idaho. Oil on board, Depression Era Regionalism. art 16 x 20, with frame 20 x 24.
It is a surprise, and yet an inspiring one, to see from his obituary below that his subsequent, and very distinguished, career was as a musician. This is immensely accomplished work for a student. Already an artist to his fingertips, he was just at the beginning of an extraordinary journey. A truly essential figure in the artistic development of California.
From his obit published in the Monterey Herald:
Eugene ("Gene") Perrine, who died on July 4, 2004, in Monterey, was recently lain to rest at the Perrine Family Cemetery near Twin Falls, Idaho. Gene, the son of an Idaho pioneer family, was born on February 5, 1911, at his family's Blue Lakes Ranch. Gene attended the Boston Conservatory of Music, University of Southern California and graduated from the University of Idaho, majoring in music and art.
During W.W.II, he worked as a master welder for the war effort in Colorado. At the end of the war, Gene went to Los Angeles where he played piano at the famous Turnabout Theater in Los Angeles, accompanying such stars at Lotte Goslar and Elsa Lanchester. During this time, Gene was also an accompanist for Carmelita Maracci, an internationally known dancer, and her students. In 1948 Gene moved to Big Sur and became a part of the artistic bohemian community. During his 50 plus years as a Big Sur resident, he was active in producing the well-known and very popular Big Sur Potluck Revues.
Through the Carl Cherry Center in Carmel, Gene worked for a number of summers in San Francisco teaching music to children with Cerebral Palsey, and composed an opera for performance by the children. Gene was an elementary classroom music teacher for Carmel Unified School District. He was a pioneer teacher of the Orff Schulwerk Music Pedagogy for Children which taught children how to compose and perform their own music. Gene founded the summer Little Lyric Theater, which produced works such as Mozart's Magic Flute. Many of his students performing in these beautiful, sophisticated child-centered productions were inspired to continue in the musical field as adults.
The nationally known Perry Mansfield theatrical school located in Colorado attracted many well-known dancers and actors. Gene spent several summers as an accompanist, and produced Gluck's Orpheus and Britten's Noyes Fludde, using his innate creativity on both costumes and scenery. Gene made many trips to Japan and was an expert on Japanese folk pottery. His extensive collection is now at the Ruth and Sherman Lee Institute for Japanese Art at the Clark Center in Hanford, California. Gene had an ear for languages as well as music - he spoke Russian and could speak, write and read Japanese. He was also an accomplished Sumie ink artist. Gene had an extraordinary personality, reserved and intellectual, but with a gentle, quick wit that delighted and disarmed all he met.