E. Charlton Fortune (1885-1969)
Born in Sausalito, California, in 1885, E. Charlton Fortune was a unique figure in the world of early California art which in her day was an almost exclusively male domain. “Effie” as she came to be known studied at the Mark Hopkins Institute in San Francisco under Arthur Mathews, whom she admired greatly for his emphasis on simple beauty. Fortune engrained herself within the fabric of the San Francisco arts community, befriending the likes of Armin Hansen and Maynard Dixon, among many others.
Fortune also studied at the Art Student’s League in New York, and painted in Woodstock, New York, and Europe on several occasions before settling in Monterey, California, a town she’d visited with her family for years while residing in San Francisco.
E. Charlton Fortune is remembered for her bright expressive works which were in her day considered to be modernist in style. Her works in Monterey and Europe often featured figures and the activities of quaint coastal villages. In her later years, Effie Fortune gave up easel painting in favor of ecclesiastical mural works. A devout Catholic throughout her life, she spent her final years leading a group crusading for sane, conservative liturgical art. Among her later projects was a mural at St. Angela’s Church in Pacific Grove. E. Charlton Fortune died in Carmel in 1969.