Marston House Museum

Marston House Museum www.twitter.com/Marston_House One of California's finest examples of the Arts and Crafts movement. Constructed in 1905 for George W. Marston and his wife, Anna Gunn Marston.
(78)

Designed and built by architects William H. Hebbard and Irving J. Gill.

Operating as usual

Many of the products Marstons sold ‘back in the day' are no longer available and often have names unfamiliar to us.  One...
04/06/2021

Many of the products Marstons sold ‘back in the day' are no longer available and often have names unfamiliar to us. One such curiosity is the turn-of-the-century "Crash Hat" that the Marston Company sold for men and boys. You may be inclined to think this is an early bicycle helmet—but "Crash" is an all-purpose term for coarse woven fabrics with an irregular surface by way of utilizing uneven yarns. This 1899 advertisement for Marston's crash hats appeared in the San Diego Union.

With spring finally here, it's time to show off those legs!  This April 4, 1934, San Diego Union advertisement for Marst...
04/04/2021

With spring finally here, it's time to show off those legs!

This April 4, 1934, San Diego Union advertisement for Marston's featured the must-have hosiery support system, the Vassarette Garter which allowed independent young women freedom of movement without the worry of unsightly sagging stockings! Shown below are Marston's advertisement and an original graphic for the product.

A tradition every spring, Lilacs at Marston's, began in 1939 by vice president of the Marston Company, Tom Hamilton. Gro...
04/04/2021

A tradition every spring, Lilacs at Marston's, began in 1939 by vice president of the Marston Company, Tom Hamilton. Grown for Marston's in Pine Hills every year by the Barnes family, they began with two bushes, which eventually grew to three thousand.

Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

85 Years Ago: In 1936 Marston's advertised a fun way to deliver Easter treats—behold the Lionel mechanical tin "Chick-Mo...
04/03/2021

85 Years Ago: In 1936 Marston's advertised a fun way to deliver Easter treats—behold the Lionel mechanical tin "Chick-Mobile" which rang a bell announcing delectable deliveries as it moved across the floor. Also pictured is the real deal complete with its original box!

Photo courtesy DAKOTApaul

For a #FineArtFriday "Moonlight San Diego Bay (from Balboa Park)" by ANNA RHODES HAZZARD MILLERANNA RHODES HAZZARD MILLE...
04/02/2021

For a #FineArtFriday "Moonlight San Diego Bay (from Balboa Park)" by ANNA RHODES HAZZARD MILLER

ANNA RHODES HAZZARD MILLER (1863-1941) “was born in Ottawa, Minnesota… She married Edward J. Miller in 1889, and subsequently settled in Oklahoma. A student of some of the most highly respected Impressionist painters of the day, she studied in California and Connecticut under the artists Maurice Braun, Randall Davey and Ernest Lawson. Miller spent most of her summers in San Diego, where she studied under Braun, and produced a considerable output from her residency in Southern California.”—Emerging from the Shadows, A Survey of Women Artists Working in California, 1860 -1960, Volume 3, Maurine St. Gaudens, editor, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. 2015.

Moonlight San Diego Bay (from Balboa Park), 1915
Oil on canvas • 16"x20"
Private collection, courtesy Maurine St. Gaudens - For Art of the Park 100 Years of Art in Balboa Park (1915-2015) A SOHO 2015 Centennial exhibition.

#FineArtFriday

Designed by Walter Dorwin Teaque, the Streamline Moderne Ford Building in Balboa Park was built by Ford Motor Company fo...
03/30/2021

Designed by Walter Dorwin Teaque, the Streamline Moderne Ford Building in Balboa Park was built by Ford Motor Company for the California Pacific Exposition in 1935. What many don't know about this unique building is that it was designed to resemble an automobile gear!

Edited.
Image courtesy Lakin/SOHO.

The 1915 Panama-California Expo brought celebrities to San Diego from all over the globe.  Of particular delight to Geor...
03/28/2021

The 1915 Panama-California Expo brought celebrities to San Diego from all over the globe. Of particular delight to George and Anna Marston was the visit from Lord and Lady Aberdeen, which received mention from Mary Marston:

"Lord and Lady Aberdeen were also memorable guests. Their genuineness...endeared them to all, and their acquaintance with Mr. Nolan, whose help they had obtained in their efforts to improve slum conditions in Dublin, was a bond between them and father. To a charming note from Lady Aberdeen, Lord Aberdeen added this postscript: "Our brief visit to San Diego provides a memory of the most pleasant, bright and peaceful day during the whole of our stay in America."

Photo courtesy National Portrait Gallery.

For a #FineArtFriday "California Building P.C.E." by G.L. KAULMAN G.L. KAULMAN California Building P.C.E., 1915Watercolo...
03/26/2021

For a #FineArtFriday "California Building P.C.E." by G.L. KAULMAN

G.L. KAULMAN
California Building P.C.E., 1915
Watercolor and pastel • 8.875"x7"
Collection of Richard Miller - For Art of the Park 100 Years of Art in Balboa Park (1915-2015) A SOHO 2015 Centennial exhibition.

#FineArtFriday

85 years ago: Advertising and visual merchandising was a specialty of the Marston Store.  Below is a whimsical example o...
03/26/2021

85 years ago: Advertising and visual merchandising was a specialty of the Marston Store. Below is a whimsical example of an Easter window display as advertised in the March 26, 1936 edition of the San Diego Union, a theatrical scene complete with a band of musicians peopled by the stuffed bunnies who dominated the shelves in the toy department each Spring.

Happy birthday to arts & crafts British designer and artist May Morris (1862-1938)#WomensHistoryMonthhttps://www.theguar...
03/25/2021
Family tree: the exquisite brilliance of William Morris's daughter

Happy birthday to arts & crafts British designer and artist May Morris (1862-1938)
#WomensHistoryMonth

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/sep/29/family-tree-the-exquisite-brilliance-of-william-morriss-daughter?fbclid=IwAR3YhCENGcziC8SmC2sHW-TZX5fUJnvPq-dgZsM1t1_pQTmDu8Db53_Fyp8

You could mistake her exquisite designs for those of her father. Yet, as a new exhibition featuring her original artwork, embroidery and jewellery shows, May Morris was a remarkable artist in her own right

03/25/2021
TR and Mrs. Roosevelt [at the Panama-California Exposition, 1915]

Mary Marston wrote of Theodore Roosevelt's 1915 visit to San Diego to participate in the Panama-California Exposition:

"Father took a special enjoyment in ex-President Theodore Roosevelt's visit. Father and mother dined with Colonel and Mrs. Roosevelt...father entertaining the Roosevelts...with an afternoon drive. Father was delighted with Colonel Roosevelt's enjoyment of natural beauty...and amused by his whispered request to the chauffeur to "see how fast she can go," with the result that the car shot ahead at seventy miles per hour along the crest of Point Loma." Depicted in the brief 'moving picture' below are Roosevelt and our special friend, George W. Marston at his left.

SummaryAt the Panama-California Exposition, San Diego, California, on July 27, 1915, Theodore Roosevelt and Edith Roosevelt speak with officials on the steps...

Today is #WhyILoveMuseums Day!It has been a challenging 12 months for museums. Why do you love The Marston House Museum?...
03/24/2021

Today is #WhyILoveMuseums Day!

It has been a challenging 12 months for museums. Why do you love The Marston House Museum?

Photo courtesy SOHO.

#WhyILoveMuseums

Wisteria in the Marston House gardens, photo R. Veres.
03/23/2021

Wisteria in the Marston House gardens, photo R. Veres.

Spring is in the air, and there's no better inspiration to beautify our gardens than a trip to the local nursery! The fi...
03/22/2021

Spring is in the air, and there's no better inspiration to beautify our gardens than a trip to the local nursery!

The first nursery established by Kate Sessions was in Coronado, in the late 1880s. A white horse named Charlie begrudgingly accompanied Kate upon the ferry each morning to transport her to her nursery upon disembarking the vessel. Unfortunately, Charlie wasn't the seafaring type and supposedly got seasick crossing the bay. He was probably more agreeable during their trips from the nursery to the Hotel Del Coronado, where Kate also operated a florist shop.

Pictured is Kate Sessions’ Coronado Nursery storefront, c.1880s. This rare photograph shows a variety of types of plants used in San Diego homes. Courtesy C***s collection.

"In our spring holidays when the country was at its loveliest father often took us on a driving trip in a buckboard with...
03/21/2021

"In our spring holidays when the country was at its loveliest father often took us on a driving trip in a buckboard with two horses. The best remembered was the one in March, 1898 to the Stonewall Mine in Cuyamaca. Snow was still on the ground and father helped us make our first snowman. We drove from Cuyamaca to Julian to dinner at our Uncle Chester Gunn's apple ranch where we appreciated the big fire, as we had never been so cold in our lives."—Elizabeth Bade Marston.

Pictured is the Stonewall Mine, c. 1890, photo courtesy SDHC.

For a #FineArtFriday "Courtyard and Tower at thePanama-California Exposition (San Diego)" by MARTHA BRADSHAW BINTLIFF MA...
03/19/2021

For a #FineArtFriday "Courtyard and Tower at the
Panama-California Exposition (San Diego)" by MARTHA BRADSHAW BINTLIFF

MARTHA BRADSHAW BINTLIFF (1869-1947) was an active painter in Superior, Wisconsin, her birthplace, and New Rochelle, N.Y., San Diego, La Jolla, and Tucson. She studied at the Cincinnati Academy of Design in Ohio and in Rome for four years with Giuseppe Ferrari. Back in the U.S., she lived in New York City and moved to San Diego in 1916. She worked in oil, watercolor and pastel to depict landscapes, seascapes and portraits. Bintliff co-founded the La Jolla Art Association in 1918 and was a member of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. She was active in La Jolla, at her home studio, and in San Diego through 1941.

Courtyard and Tower at the
Panama-California Exposition (San Diego), 1915
Watercolor • 9.5"x6.5"
Collection of Kirk & Linda Edgar - For Art of the Park 100 Years of Art in Balboa Park (1915-2015) A SOHO 2015 Centennial exhibition.

#FineArtFriday

On her 1909 trip to London with her parents and sister Harriet, Helen Marston wrote: "...horse buses provided the usual ...
03/18/2021

On her 1909 trip to London with her parents and sister Harriet, Helen Marston wrote:

"...horse buses provided the usual transportation and taxis were hansom cabs. During our first days in London, father and I took long bus rides. We would clamber to the top and sit on each side of the driver to hear his stories, then descend somewhere in the city and explore, with Hare's Walks in London or Literary Pilgrimages in hand."

1890 photo of a London “horse bus” or “horse-drawn omnibus,” an English public transport conveyance system in operation from 1829-1910, courtesy London Transport Museum.

See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KOcZtbhiYI

"The houses that Mr. Gill designs stand so pre-eminently for permanence in their simplicity that they can no more be dis...
03/16/2021

"The houses that Mr. Gill designs stand so pre-eminently for permanence in their simplicity that they can no more be disregarded than the old Missions, and are as surely influencing the architecture of the West."—Gustav Stickley.

The 1908 Thomas Hamilton/Mary Fulford House at 3500 Seventh Avenue (demolished), c. 1910 glass slide photograph taken by the architect's firm. Courtesy C***s Collection.

From Helen Marston's recollections of her 1909 European tour while in London: "Father and I... hiked from Hampstead Heat...
03/15/2021

From Helen Marston's recollections of her 1909 European tour while in London:

"Father and I... hiked from Hampstead Heath to Highgate on a beautiful morning and attempted a Pickwickian lunch in the picturesque garden of the Spaniard Inn."

Pictured are the Spaniard Inn about the time of the Marstons' picnic and its “beer garden” as it appears today, courtesy Metro UK.

On March 13, 2020, along with arts and culture organizations across the nation, SOHO made the decision to close our hist...
03/14/2021

On March 13, 2020, along with arts and culture organizations across the nation, SOHO made the decision to close our historic sites and cancel all programming and events out of concern for the health and safety of our staff, visitors, and communities due to the coronavirus.

Even though it has been a challenging year, it was also filled with new opportunities to learn and to do some things differently. We are grateful to the community and to our much smaller staff for their incredible perseverance, hope, and support.

We look forward to welcoming all of our guests, and our members back through our doors, soon.

In the meantime, stay safe and be well.
On behalf of all of us at SOHO.

Free to SOHO members, come enjoy virtual yoga with Mary Jones. Connect with us in the surroundings of your own home!We c...
03/13/2021
Virtual Live Yoga for SOHO members

Free to SOHO members, come enjoy virtual yoga with Mary Jones. Connect with us in the surroundings of your own home!

We care about wellness, and we know you do too. Yoga with Mary will give you a little time each week to breathe, reflect, and connect even during a time when we need to continue to practice safe distancing. Our hope is that this will allow us all to connect with each other while learning or maintaining a yoga practice until we can be together again at the museum.

http://sohosandiego.org/enews/0321yogawithmary.htm

Free to SOHO members, come enjoy virtual yoga with Mary Jones. Connect with us in the surroundings of your own home!

IIn 1909 George and Anna Lee Marston took daughters Helen and Harriet on a European tour, where they visited Italy befor...
03/13/2021

IIn 1909 George and Anna Lee Marston took daughters Helen and Harriet on a European tour, where they visited Italy before heading to London.

Perugia (pictured here c.1910), situated between Florence and Rome, is renowned for its museums, cathedrals, wine, and the Perugina Chocolate Factory, which opened two years prior to the Marston family visit.

Here Helen recounts their last day in Perugia with youthful excitement: "When father and Harriet and I got up early to see one last church before leaving Perugia and ran all the way back to the hotel up the ravine-like streets and across the stately squares, to the astonishment of the market women--that was fun!"

Photo Wikimedia Commons.

For a #FineArtFriday. “Rustic Bridge San Diego” by ALFRED MITCHELLAn outstanding plein air artist of enduring influence ...
03/12/2021

For a #FineArtFriday. “Rustic Bridge San Diego” by ALFRED MITCHELL

An outstanding plein air artist of enduring influence in Southern California, ALFRED MITCHELL (1888-1972) settled in San Diego in 1908, and began painting en plein air throughout the county, including Balboa Park. In 1913, when he was 25, Mitchell began studying with the local master painter Maurice Braun. Three years later, he enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. As a result, his brushwork got bolder, his colors stronger. Back in San Diego by the early 1920s, he co-founded artists’ groups, went on painting excursions and helped guide acquisitions for what is now the San Diego Museum of Art. Several works by Mitchell are in the permanent collection. Mitchell created Rustic Bridge during his student days, when he signed his work Fred Mitchell. Even as a young man, he was attracted to Balboa Park as an endless source of inspiration.

Rustic Bridge San Diego, 1913-16 Oil • 8"x11.25"
Collection of Darlene Davies- For Art of the Park 100 Years of Art in Balboa Park (1915-2015) A SOHO 2015 Centennial exhibition.

#FineArtFriday

The 1915 Panama-California Exposition at Balboa Park offered a wide variety of 'street performances' to delight the mass...
03/10/2021

The 1915 Panama-California Exposition at Balboa Park offered a wide variety of 'street performances' to delight the masses. Mary Marston recollected "Military reviews, Spanish dancing, and singing by strolling musicians, swirling flocks of pigeons alighting to be fed, tourists with bright parasols made this sunny square always entertaining."

Photo courtesy SDHC.

It only takes a minute to send a quick note (already drafted it for you!) to your Councilmember to express how important...
03/10/2021
Arts + Culture: San Diego

It only takes a minute to send a quick note (already drafted it for you!) to your Councilmember to express how important a vibrant Arts and Culture community will be for our city to recover!

Just click on the link provided HERE: https://www.artsandculturesd.org/penny?fbclid=IwAR1JUQ5R8NVi6Jds5YG6cWr88hAUz7SZV1fi5bvkCBuG9_JJI6Pk5H3-mls

The city’s grant program makes arts+culture accessible and affordable. Tell your mayor and City Council to take a constructive approach to the budget. It’s time to fund the vibrant, culturally diverse city we aspire to be!

☑️ Take action at: artsandculturesd.org/penny

A serene watercolor of the Marston House done in 2010 by Suzy Spafford (Suzy's Zoo creator).
03/07/2021

A serene watercolor of the Marston House done in 2010 by Suzy Spafford (Suzy's Zoo creator).

Did you know the origin of the name for our rare and unique Torrey pines?  Dr. C.C. Parry was the official botanist of t...
03/07/2021

Did you know the origin of the name for our rare and unique Torrey pines? Dr. C.C. Parry was the official botanist of the Mexican Boundary Survey being conducted here in 1850 when he recognized the trees to be an undiscovered species of pine on the cliffs of the city's northern border. Parry named the tree Pinus torreyana after his teacher Dr. John Torrey at Columbia College, a cousin to the Marstons!

Mary Marston wrote, "Incidentally Dr. Torrey was a cousin of Dr. Lewis C. Gunn, mother's father, which may have given our family a slight feeling of proprietorship in Pinus torreyana!

Photo by Jill Hamilton, courtesy Sierra Club.

During a visit to London in 1909, George Marston wrote to Hugh Strong, his marketing manager, to describe the sites he e...
03/05/2021

During a visit to London in 1909, George Marston wrote to Hugh Strong, his marketing manager, to describe the sites he enjoyed taking in:

"The very names of the churches are most interesting. We saw the church of All Hallows in the Wall, St. Martin in the Fields, St. Mary-le-Bow, St Peter-le-Poor, St. Lawrence Jewry, and others. The Bow Bells (St. Mary-le-Bow) are very famous and it is said that anyone born within hearing of them is a Cockney."

Pictured is St. Mary-le-Bow, 1909, courtesy History Then And Now.

We love this 2018 project, "the Presidio Park Plant Survey, and encyclopedia" by Parish Rye. Parish is a big fan of Geor...
03/04/2021
Horticultural Development

We love this 2018 project, "the Presidio Park Plant Survey, and encyclopedia" by Parish Rye. Parish is a big fan of George Marston too, and the estate was once a part of his foot patrol.

From the survey: "George Marston's efforts are the reason Presidio Park exists today. Because of his philanthropy there is a Serra Museum, there exist roads, there are irrigation lines, there were personnel hired to do the work, there were governmental relationships built (much of the cobble stone work along roadside gullies, and other smaller structures were financed through WPA funding in the late 1930s thanks to Marston's influence) and there are plants that flourish there today."-Parish Rye

Read more here:
http://www.sohosandiego.org/presidio/horticulturaldevelopment.htm

The landscape that can be seen today in and around Presidio bears no resemblance to the land as the indigenous peoples saw it, save topography, and in some case not even the height and shapes of the hills are the same. San Diego's coastal landscape varies naturally, by location.

Just got word we have snow at Warner's Ranch House and, Marston caretaker Robert V. just sent us this picture of hail at...
03/03/2021

Just got word we have snow at Warner's Ranch House and, Marston caretaker Robert V. just sent us this picture of hail at the Marston House!

Of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, Mary Marston wrote: "The beauty of its architecture and gardening was enchanti...
03/03/2021

Of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, Mary Marston wrote: "The beauty of its architecture and gardening was enchanting. The bridge across Cabrillo Canyon was decorated at intervals with great jars containing century plants; one looked down on a lagoon below filled with exquisite water lilies and lotus. No parked cars marred the beauty of the quiet California quadrangle or the gay Plaza de Panama, brilliant in summer with purple bougainvillea festooning the facades of its surrounding buildings."

Photo courtesy KPBS.

Address

3525 7th Ave
San Diego, CA
92103

The Marston House Museum is located on the far west corner of Balboa Park. For driving directions, 7th Avenue can be accessed from Upas Street via 6th Avenue. For public transportation, go www.sdmts.com for trolley schedules, bus routes and times.

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Comments

The San Diego Urban Sketchers visited the garden today, and spend a couple delightful hours capturing the spring day. Here's a link to a video of the visit:
Hello, I'm a film producer. I would like to know who to speak to about using the marston house as a filming location for a 4 hour period. Not much use of furniture, if any.
Any photos of Marston's Dept. Store Christmas windows? I wonder if there is any footage of their wonderful mechanized displays that delighted & amazed us as kids?
Does anyone know when the house will be open again.