|Belle Baranceanu (1902-1988)
Belle Goldschlager Baranceanu began her studies at the Minneapolis
School of Art. While living in Chicago during the 1920s she studied
at the Art Institute of Chicago and eventually began as teaching
art while she continued her painting. Baranceanu moved to San Diego
in 1933. Like many artists during the Great Depression, she painted
murals for the Public Works of Art Project in the La Jolla Post Office
and Roosevelt Jr. High School.
She exhibited her work at galleries and museums including Carnegie
Institute, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum,
among others. Baranceanu also taught courses at the La Jolla School
of Arts & Crafts and Frances Parker School. Her works are held
in the collections of the San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Historical
Society, among others.
During the 1940s Baranceanu painted in a style similar to Depression-era
WPA muralist work. One of her paintings, a depiction of a
mother and her two children, it is a traditional subject but painted
with a modernist sensibility. Baranceanu’s subjects are painted
with a distinguishable flatness and are not heavily modeled as
in traditional historic portraits. Her palette consisted
of bold colors. The trees depicted in the background of some of
her works appear almost fresco-like in their animated simplicity.
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