August 2014 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Original Painting of Poet's Tor House

Tor House, the iconic Carmel, California, home built by poet Robinson Jeffers, is a beautiful Tudor-style cottage. Jeffers designed the original stone cottage as a home for his wife and their twin sons. Construction began in 1918, and soon thereafter Jeffers began work on a second structure, Hawk Tower. Together, on a craggy knoll so near the sea, they seem to belong more to Ireland than coastal California. Tor House was where Jeffers did his writing, where he entertained literary friends, e.g. Sinclair Lewis, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Langston Hughes, and where he died in 1962. Now open for tours and events, Tor House is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Tor House.jpgThis original oil painting of Tor House by Australian artist Kenneth Jack, c. 1969, goes to auction next week at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. The painting is signed, and a note card glued to the verso is signed and inscribed to the artist's friend Marlan Beilke in California, who specifically requested a portrait of the famous poet's house. It's a fine oil on board, ably executed, with literary associations -- certainly tempting for any Jeffers collector out there. The estimate is $2,000-3,000.