Category Archives: objects

Mr. Mason Wells

Freightliner #1 (1958)

Small Painting #2 (1961)

Artist: Mason Wells (1906 – 1984)

Born in New England. Studied at Harvard University and at the Yale University Architectural School. Worked from San Francisco, and died in Marin County, Calif.

Group exhibitions include “Fifteen West Coast Painters,” Poindexter Gallery, New York,1961; Watercolor and Drawing Annual, San Francisco Museum of Art, 1960, 1961. One-man show at the Quay Gallery, Tiburon, 1963. Work held in the SFMOMA and Whitney collections.

Featured with 30 other artists in <a href=”; rel=”nofollow”>“Post-Painterly Abstraction,”</a> curated by Clement Greenberg with a 23 April 1964 debut at LACMA.

Art goes a long way to contextualize daily life.



Really ties the room together.  Vintage hand-woven Pakistani rug from Boomerang.


All the Small Things

As a child, objects in the house stand out most in my historical and material imagination.  My parents were in their early 20s during the 1970s, and very cool.  On a shoestring budget, they put together a home filled mostly with love, but also hippie-modern pieces that became objects of some fascination: a leopard carved into a gourd, spinning on a metal rod atop a teakwood block; a heavily-textured wall tapestry hanging above the fire place; the metal knobs on my father’s Pioneer hi-fi.

So, now its time to think about the objects that will be a part of my own children’s imagination.  This is the fun part of building a house into a home – looking for things that make the space interesting, and ultimately – ours.

I went over to Ron’s place (of Objects USA) to look over a few things that that I was considering on our dwindling decorating budget.  I found a vintage Paolo Soleri bell for our front porch and an unsigned sculpture in clay and wood from the late 1950s (see above).   I eyed all the other things by notable San Diego and Bay Area artists with the future in mind.  That will have to wait.

Elsewhere, we picked up an inexpensive 1950s abstract oil-on-canvas by Andrew Athan Tagaris, a Los Angeles painter who was involved with the California Art Club in the 50s and worked with a palette knife.  We quite like it.  Its holding the wall above the dining table until we can find something perhaps larger.  But piece by piece, the house comes together with these small things.  The children seem to be enjoying it.