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Theosophy and Symbolist Art: The Point Loma Art School
Images From the Article
Page iv. These huge doors, over twelve feet high, were carved by Reginald Machell for the entrance to the Aryan Temple (renamed the Temple of Peace after World War I). The dog is symbolic of fidelity, the lilies of purity. At the top is a wreath encircling the ring of Madame Blauatsky which in turn encircles the key of knowledge.
Page 232. Edith White (far right) is seen instructing students in one of the girls' art classes.
Page 233. Students draw one of their fellow classmates in Edith White's drawing class which was held upstairs in the Aryan Temple
Page 234. Henry Watson's classroom shows a variety of student projects.
Page 236. A detail of one of Reginald Machell's carved five-panel folding screens. Carved on both sides, each panel has a different design.
Page 236. Detail from one of Machell's six-panel folding screens. The design on the reverse is engraved instead of carved.
Page 236. The Art Nouveau influence is particularly evident in the back of this carved chair by Reginald Machell.
Page 238. Machell instructs students in the art of wood carving.
Page 239. A string quartet plays in front of one of Machell's carved screens. Notice that each panel has a different design. The seats and plant stands are also his work.
Page 241. "A Morning Idyl" by Maurice Braun (1914). This large painting was presented by the artist to Katherine Tingley, and now hangs in the Theosophical headquarters in Pasadena. The stylized trees and dancing figures bring to mind the work of European Symbolist artists like Franz von Stuck and Arnold Bocklin,
Page 242. Charles Ryan painted a Point Loma landscape with the Râja Yoga Academy in the distance.
Page 242. The Pencil drawing completed by Leonard Lester in 1919 shows the main structures on Point Loma: The Temple of Peace, left, and the Râja Yoga Academy.
Page 244. "May Blossoms: A Passing Shower" by Grace Betts (1918). The imaginary design and color create a very dream-like effect.
Page 245. A Point Loma landscape by Edith White (1917) signed "POINT LOMA ART SCHOOL." The digitalis (foxglove) in the foreground were in the garden started by Leonard Lester's sister, Amy, after she returned from Cuba.
Page 247. Joseph Fussell, Sr. painted this watercolor view from his window at Point Loma looking north toward La Jolla in August of 1904.
Page 249. A typical California landscape with eucalyptus by Leonard Lester. The artist's works were among the most ethereal produced by Lomaland painters.
Page 250. Illustration by Reginald Machell for Kenneth Morris' "Dirge of the Waves for Dylan Eilton" (1917)
Page 252. "The Path" by Reginald Machell. This highly complicated allegorical work was used as the cover illustration for the magazine The Theosophical Path which was published on Point Loma. The original now hangs in the Theosophical headquarters in Pasadena. Opposite: Machell's original description of the painting's symbolism.
Page 254. Original designs in color by Râja Yoga Cuban boys.
THE PHOTOGRAPHS on pages 232, 233, 236, 238, 239, 241, 250 and 252 are from the collection of the Theosophical Society International, Pasadena, California. The paintings on pages 242 (top) and 247 are courtesy of Emmett Small. The eucalyptus landscape by Leonard Lester was provided by Marian Lester. Drawings and paintings reproduced on pages 242 (bottom), 244 and 245 were recent gifts to the San Diego History Center by Mrs. Iverson Harris in memory of her husband. All other photographs are from the San Diego History Center's Title Insurance and Trust Collection.