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Jules Tavernier (1844–1889) was a French painter and is considered the most important artist of Hawaii’s Volcano School. He was born in Paris in 1844 and died in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1889. He studied with the French painter, Félix Joseph Barrias (1822–1907), but left France in the 1870s, never to return. Tavernier was employed as an illustrator by Harper's Magazine, which sent him on assignment to California in the 1870s. Eventually he continued westward to Hawaii, where he made a name for himself as a landscape and portrait painter. He was fascinated by Hawaii’s erupting volcanoes—a subject that was to pre-occupy him for the rest of his life, which was spent in Hawaii, Canada and the western United States. His students included D. Howard Hitchcock (1861–1943), Amédée Joullin (1862–1917), Charles Rollo Peters (1862–1917) and Manuel Valencia (1856–1935).
Among the public collections holding paintings by Jules Tavernier are the Brigham Young University Museum of Art (Provo, UT), the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (Colorado Springs, CO), the Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento), the Gilcrease Museum (Tulsa, OK), Hearst Art Gallery (Saint Mary's College of California, Moraga, CA), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Museum of Nebraska Art (Kearney, NE), the Oakland Museum of California, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Stark Museum of Art (Orange, TX), the Society of California Pioneers (San Francisco, CA), the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts (Hagerstown, MD) and the Yosemite Museum (Yosemite National Park).
In 2014 the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California held an exhibition of more than 100 works by Tavernier, the first career retrospective of his work, accompanied by a catalog entitled Jules Tavernier: Artist & Adventurer. After the Crocker, the exhibition will then move to the Monterey Museum of Art.
Chalmers, Claudine, Scott A. Shields, and Alfred C. Harrison Jr., Jules Tavernier: Artist and Adventurer, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California, 2013, ISBN 978-0-7649-6685-9
Forbes, David W., Encounters with Paradise: Views of Hawaii and its People, 1778-1941, Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1992, 95-209.
Maier, Steven, Jules Tavernier: Hawaiʻi’s First Real Painter, Honolulu, Nov. 1996, 80.
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