Granville Richard Seymour Redmond (1871-1935)
Granville Redmond was born in Philadelphia, PA, on March 9, 1871. Redmond was stricken with scarlet fever and deaf at age three. After moving with his family to San Jose, CA, about 1874, he attended the Berkeley School for the Deaf from 1879-90. At that school, he was greatly influenced by Theophilus D’Estrella who taught him painting, drawing, pantomime and encouraged him in his art studies. Upon graduation, he entered the San Francisco School of Design where he studied with Matthews and Joullin. There he was awarded a gold medal and a scholarship for further study in Paris at Academie Julian under Constant and Laurens. While in Paris, he shared apartments with Gottardo Piazzoni and deaf artist Douglas Tilden. Some of his early paintings done in France are signed “S. Redmond.”
Returning to California in 1898, Redmond took up residence in Los Angeles. During this period, his work was decidedly Tonalist but soon brightened into Impressionism. The years 1910-17 were spent in northern California, where he was a resident at different periods of San Mateo, Monterey County, and Belvedere. In 1917 his ability in sign language was put to good use when he became a bit player in the silent movies in Hollywood. Redmond became good friends with Charlie Chaplin and was instrumental in perfecting Chaplin’s pantomime technique. He had a studio on the Chaplin movie lot and appeared in several of his movies, the most memorable role being the sculptor in “City Lights.” He also had a featured role in the 1926 film “You’d Be Surprised.”
Granville Redmond died in Los Angeles on May 24, 1935. An Impressionist, he is internationally known for his landscapes of California’s rolling hills with poppies and lupines as well as coastals, moonlit scenes, and seascapes.
Edan Hughes, “Artists in California 1786-1940”
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