Friday, November 25, 2011

Ellie Bogardus - Hotel California

In an earlier blog I mentioned a neighbor of my parents' in Cambria, but more notably, Ellie Bogardus was an illustrator from the production crew of Charlie Brown cartoons and cartoons in the early days of television. She also was an artist known around the small
5275 Nottingham Drive, c. 1985
coastal community, and after posting an update about her work, I heard from a gentleman in France who is the son of Ellie's husband in the 1960's. Following that post, earlier in the week I received a message from an instructor at the University of Southern California (my attitude towards that institution had already mellowed over the past six years since moving to the east coast - much different from my earlier college days) who along with her husband have the good fortune of just this week acquiring an entire collection of Ellie Bogardus' original paintings from family friends who were obviously serious collectors of Ellie's paintings. If I thought the drawings my brother and sister-in-law have were great, these canvases are spectacular - a bonanza.

More than a month ago, I wrote my new friend in France that I would look for photographs of the Cambria house, and with grateful receipt of the cell phone images received earlier this week from southern California, and another request for more information about Ellie - well... I was able to locate two sketches I drew of Ellie's house about 25
Wall landscape, non-artistic rendition
years ago. I am leaving myself quite vulnerable to criticism by displaying these because by no stretch of anyone's imagination am I an artist, and the two inquiries about Ellie come from accomplished artists in their own right. The first sketch is a perspective of the front of the house facing the road away from the ocean. The second is a very rough drawing on the south-facing exterior wall of the house showing a larger landscape scene that nicely ties together the characters from the manhole cover skirts out in the street - the drawings on the wall and the manhole covers together complete the habitat. From my sketch, it looks like that part of the house had a flat roof, so Ellie's exterior "canvas" was a rectangle. The canvas for this blog now runs in a triangle, from Annapolis, to France, back over the U.S to southern California, and to the east coast, again.

A quest continues. In the meantime, below is the first public showing of Ellie Borgardus original paintings from the Allyn Morris Family collection. They are as my mind remembers seeing ones like them, decades ago at the Seago Gallery and the gallery that is now a pizzeria on Main Street. I will need to find out whether the paintings have a title written on the backs of the canvases. The artist's signature dates them in the late 1970's - an imagined interpreted title is provided for each, like earlier aerial Iowa landscapes.

[Getting ready for] A Night on the Town / Girl's Reflection Over a Bathtub
Mademoiselle Justine's Visit
An Early Dinner / Pantry scene #7, from the When Away Shopping in the Village series
Oakhurst Renaissance Fair / Dana's Favorite

Berte Morisot Reclining
Renoir's Augustine / Portrait in the Parlor
Cat's Evil Intent / Pantry Scene #23, from the Away Shopping in the Village series
The Artist's Mother / Panel #18, from the Cottage Next Door series
Seashore Picnic at Fiscalini Ranch
Mountain House Time Capsule / Treasure in an Attic
Rousseau's World / From A Day at the Los Angeles Aboretum series
Moody Watching and Waiting / Story in Your Eyes


  1. Her "Encore, Un peu" hangs in Plainfield Public Library in Plainfield NJ

    1. Would you send me a photograph of the painting so I can post it? Thanks.

  2. Hi Jeff. I believe my husband and I have an Ellie Bogardus painting. Do you have an email address that I can contact you at?

    1. Tara, It would be great to post a picture of your painting and any information you are willing to tell me about. Thanks, Jeff