From a Versatile Brush: The Life and Art of Jean Mannheim


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This richly illustrated monograph covers the life and art of Jean Mannheim, a founding member of the California Art Club. Mannheim settled in Pasadena in 1908 and became known remarkably versatility in painting portraits and landscapes, as well as a mentor and teacher to many of the region’s younger artists.

Born in Germany, trained in Paris, and touched by the American Midwest, Jean Mannheim settled in Pasadena in 1908 and quickly became a major figure in California’s plein-air impressionist art movement. For nearly four decades, Mannheim was a well-known contributor to the Southern California art scene. He was an active teacher and mentor to young artists throughout his career, and he was recognized as a master of portraits and figure studies. The versatility of his brush and the variety of his subject matter were widely acknowledged, and he was known as well for his paintings of the coast, valleys, deserts, and mountains of California. His diverse work is admired by many and has endured over the years. It not only provides a glimpse of the regional impressionist movement that energized and supplied an identity for the burgeoning Southern California population, but also captures and preserves images of a unspoiled California that has long since faded into memories of a bygone time.

By Richard W. Reitzell