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Additional Images
Primary Object
George Melville Stone (1840-1931)
Title/Object Name
Circa 1910-1914
Oil on canvas

Height – 48” Width - 30”

Artifact Descriptions
Painting of the raising of a bell, with a man in a robe or cowl instructing four individuals to raise the bell.
Mission Paintings

Updated: October 13, 2006

ission Inn owner Frank Miller filled his hotel with art that served as a reminder of the California Missions. He purchased some of this art, but he also hired artists to create paintings especially for the hotel. One such artist was George Melville Stone. Stone was from Kansas and came to Riverside at Miller's request in 1909. He first painted a portrait of Allis Miller, Frank Miller’s daughter. Stone also created several paintings with a Mission theme. In this painting, a padre appears to instruct workers to raise a bell. For many years, Stone's paintings hung in the Cloister Walk, the part of the hotel that became known as the Catacombs.

Other artists represented in the Mission Inn collections include Frank Paul Sauerwein (1871-1910), Arthur Hill Gilbert (1894-1970), and James Edwin McBurney (1868-1955). Many examples of these artists’ work are found in the Mission Inn, along with other artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Whether collecting existing pieces or commissioning artists to produce new paintings, Frank Miller successfully decorated his hotel with an abundance of mission-themed art.

Online Links & Resources

Irvine Museum www.irvinemuseum.org
Kansas City Public Library http://kclibrary.org/localhistory

  • Gerdts, William H. and Will South. (2000)  Native Grandeur: Preserving California's Vanishing Landscapes, San Francisco:  The Nature Conservancy.
  • Gerdt, William H., Jean Stern, Harvey L. Jones and David Dearinger. (1994). All Things Bright & Beautiful: California Impressionist Paintings from the Irvine Museum.  Irvine:Irvine Museum.
  • Hughes, Edan Milton. (1989)   Artists in California, 1786-1940. San Francisco: Hughes Pub Co.
  • The Irvine Museum. (1995).   Romance of the Bells  The California Missions in Art.  Irvine:  The Irvine Museum.
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