On August 16, 2019, Lial Jones celebrated 20 years as director and CEO of the Crocker Art Museum. In recognition of this occasion, members of the Crocker’s board of directors, Director’s Circle members, docents, and others acquired a painting in her honor.

The painting is by Edna M. Reindel, an artist who came to California from the East Coast and whose work is included in important museum collections nationwide. Born in Detroit, Reindel started taking watercolor classes locally before moving to New York. There, she trained at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, graduating in 1923. For a time, she worked as a freelance book illustrator and, in 1926, won a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship that allowed her to spend summers painting at Laurelton Hall, the Tiffany estate on Long Island. There, she met and became friends with artist Luigi Lucioni, whose tight, meticulous painting style influenced her own.

In 1937, Reindel moved to San Fernando in Southern California to help care for her sick brother. Following his death three years later, she settled in Santa Monica and established herself as a portraitist of Hollywood stars and their families. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art accorded her a solo show in 1940, and three years later LIFE magazine commissioned her to paint a series of works depicting women’s contributions to the war effort.

Reindel’s painting The Bull Fight exemplifies the artist’s signature realist-surrealist style (she described it as a “pyscho-realist” style), which is typical of an approach that many artists pursued in the 1930s and 40s. The painting attests not only to Reindel’s technical skills, but to her abilities as a storyteller. The true subject of the painting is not really a bull fight as the title suggests, but a woman in blue, who is perhaps loosely based on Lady Brett Ashley from Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises. Though encircled by men, she remains independent and self-secure — a compelling personality in an otherwise faceless crowd

Top Image: Edna M. Reindel, The Bull Fight, ca. 1936. Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 1/4 in. Purchased in honor of Lial A. Jones’s 20th anniversary as the Crocker Art Museum’s Mort and Marcy Friedman Director & CEO with contributions from the following: Elizabeth and Russell Austin, Chris Ann Bachtel, Richard Barancik, Ted and Melza Barr, Roger and Carol Berry, Mary Campbell Bliss and Fredrick Bliss, Yvonne J. Boseker, Edith and Stephen Brandenburger, Roberta and Michael Brown, Susan Buck, Susie and Jim Burton, Barbara J. Campbell, CCS Fund Raising, Simon K. Chiu, Claudia Coleman, Claudia Cummings, Lynne and Glen Cunningham, Ione Cutter and Margot Cutter, Kathleen and James Deeringer, Marge and Joe Dobrowolski, Carol Wieckowski Dreyer and Roger A. Dreyer, Mary Duplat and Susan Buck, Scarlet LaRue Edber and Harvey Edber, Susan Edling, Pam and Steven Eggert, Karen and David Ewing, Sandra and Steven Felderstein, Sylvia Fitzgerald, ISA AM, Stefanie Fricano and Greg Darrah, Marcy Friedman, David I. Gibson and William E. Ishmael, Théa Dziuk Givens, Susan Haake and Steven Hearst, Zarou and Hanns Haesslein, M.J. Hamilton and Dave Reed, Phyllis Hammer, Mary Hargrave, Karen and Rod Hass, Gwenna and Dan Howard, Barbara and William Hyland, Pat Ingoglia, Gary T. Johns and John D. Schneider, Ernie and Muriel Johnson, Sandra L. Jones, Gloria Jones, Jane and William Koenig, Pramila and Indru Kriplani, Linda Lawrence, Nancy Lawrence, Dorothy and Norm Lien, Kimberly and Timothy Lien, Marilyn Mahoney and Ronald Pomares, Pat Mahony and Randy Getz, Nancy and Dennis Marks, Sheila Martin-Stone, Lanette M. McClure and Mark M. Glickman, Judy McConnell, Anne and Malcolm McHenry, Val J. McMichael, Mary McPherson, Dr. Linda and Mr. Steven Merksamer, Mimi Miller, Diane D. Miller and the Honorable Brian R. Van Camp, Lori Abbott Moreland and John Abbott, Rosemary and Robert Mundhenk, Gloria Naify, Karen Neuwald, Teri and Mitchell Ostwald, Janet Poole, Sue and James Robison, Shirley and Skip Rosenbloom, Pam Saltenberger, Estelle Saltzman, Robert Scarlett, Mary Anne Schendzelos, Elizabeth Shattuck, Patti Solomon, Glenn W. Sorensen, Jr. Family, Mary Lou Stone, Patty and Joe Symkowick, Joyce and James Teel, Wayne Thiebaud, Denise and Donald Timmons, Linda and Ronald Tochterman, Sharon Usher and David Townsend, Patricia and James Wells, Laura and Robert Wendel, M.D., Frank and Helen Wheeler, Parker White, Laurie Wood-Gundlach and Raymond Gundlach, Kazuyo Yonemoto and Harold Wright. Donations received by November 8, 2019.