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Ferdinand Burgdorff
Peace and Plenty, 1931



"Peace and Plenty" by Pebble Beach, California artist Ferdinand Burgdoff (American, 1883-1975). Artists gallery label titled "Peace and Plenty" and dated "1931" on verso. Presented in a wooden frame. Image size, 21"H x 25"W. Presented to James A. Nelson (James Nelson Algar of Carmel) Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Ferdinand Burgdorff studied at the Cleveland School of Art and in Paris with Rene Menard and Florence Este. In 1907, he headed West with the intention of becoming a desert landscape painter. He lived in box cars with railroad builders on the stretch of line between Yuma and Calexico and traveling by wagon or horseback, accompanied surveyors on many trips into the desert. Of this time he wrote: "There were such exciting things to see and paint, undisturbed by a single human within miles" (Widening Horizons). He also worked for a period in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he painted the sandy wastes near Albuquerque in the region known as the Sandia. He then moved to California where he was an illustrator for The Sunset magazine, then a new publication. Many of the paintings he had made earlier were reproduced in this magazine. In California, he first lived in Carmel where he was an active member of the Carmel Colony. He later settled in nearby in Pebble Beach, building a home on Rondo Road. In 1911, he took an exhibition of his desert paintings back to his home town of Cleveland, and sold enough to finance a two-year trip around the world. His main objective was to see Greece and Egypt because they were ancient desert worlds. He also painted along the Nile, which reminded him of the Colorado River. When he died, he was the oldest working artist on the Monterey Peninsula, having painted many coastal views and abandoned mining towns in pastel, oil and watercolor. From 1907 to 1924, he made numerous painting trips to the Grand Canyon and the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. His work was both realistic and romantic, conveying a sense of mystery and drama in his landscapes. James Nelson Algar: From Mickey Mouse's appearance as the terrified, half-drowned sorcerer's apprentice in Fantasia to the square-dancing death duel of scorpions in The Living Desert, James Algar delivered some of the most memorable moments in Disney films. "Jim was a great storyteller, who made great contributions to our animated classics," says Roy Disney, vice chairman and head of the animation department. Algar, who died in February at the age of 85, was a writer, director and producer at Walt Disney Studios for 43 years. He began his cartoon career drawing for the Chaparral at Stanford and joined the young Disney studios in 1934 as an animator. In 1938, he was asked to direct one of Walt Disney's own pet projects -- a cartoon created around composer Paul Dukas's suite The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It was originally intended as a stand-alone short to bolster the popularity of Mickey Mouse, whose fortunes had waned against those of Donald Duck. "But when it was finished," says Algar's son James, "the studio thought it came out so well that they decided to build a whole movie around a mix of classical music and cartoons." The result was that Algar's Apprentice became a key part of the acclaimed Fantasia, released as a full-length feature in 1940. In the 1950s, Algar worked as a writer and director on a series of true-life adventures. "They were my dad's pet projects," James says. "He was pretty much given the freedom to decide which subjects to cover." Algar shared in nine Oscars for these documentaries and features, which included The Vanishing Prairie, Beaver Valley, Bear Country, The Living Desert and White Wilderness. Algar's work also won awards from the Thomas Edison Foundation, the International Edinburgh Festival, Look magazine and the American Humane Society.


  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
  • Dimensions

    H 23 in. x W 27 in. x D 1 in.

    H 58.42 cm x W 68.58 cm x D 2.54 cm

  • Gallery location
    Soquel, CA
  • Reference number
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