The Museum Building

San Lorenzo Valley Artists' Biographies

Rachel Bachrach (1929 - 1987)

Rachel Crapuchettes Bachrach was born May 2, 1929 in Mill Valley, Marin Co., California. She graduated from Sequoia High School in Redwood City, in June of 1947. Her artistic abilities probably came from her father, Emile Crapuchettes, who was a renowned artist.

After she and Walter Bachrach were married, they settled in Boulder Creek where they were the proprietors of “The Encounter”, a gift and photographic supply store. She became locally famous for her pen and ink drawings of many of the beautiful houses in the area and scenes of the exquisite redwood trees. One of her most well known oils is the rendition of Boulder Creek in 1902 which hangs over the organ at the San Lorenzo Valley Museum.

Her drawings were gathered together for calendars, which were sold throughout the Valley the first one in 1972 and up until her death on Dec 10, 1987.

Louise Grossett Cunningham (1881 - 1983)

A pastel painter, Louise Cunningham was born in Berkeley, California on May 4th, 1881 of French parents. (Her uncle, Jules Jacques, was a distinguished Paris artist and a member of the French Royal Academy)

Louise Grossett began her art studies at age eleven at the Mark Hopkins Institute in San Francisco. She then spent most of her life as a resident of Felton, California, the wife of Robert Cunningham. She painted and taught there until her death on December 23, 1983. Her paintings are today in many noted collections and galleries.



John Holm (1929 -

John Holm was born in Santa Cruz and raised in Boulder Creek through the depression years. He attended Boulder Creek Elementary and graduated from Boulder Creek High School in 1948. After graduation he traveled to Montana and worked on a cattle ranch. Returning to Boulder Creek he settled down to stay and worked for 31 years in the wholesale and retail meat business as well as antique and craft endeavors. He was the San Lorenzo Valley Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 1967. John started painting as a young man and particularly enjoyed animals and portraits.

John is retired and he and his wife, Edie, now live in a lovely home on a lake in Nashville, Indiana.


William Hyde Irwin (1903 - 1982)

William (Bill) Irwin was born in San Francisco, California on Oct. 14, 1903, son of painter Hallie Hyde and journalist Will Irwin. In 1910, the family settled in Brookdale where his mother designed and built the beautiful home called Rivercroft. Raised in an artistic home he first was taught to paint by his talented mother. Following his education at Stanford University, he pursued art studies at the CCAC, Académies Moderne and Colarossi in Paris, and at UC Berkeley. He later taught art at Santa Cruz High School and San Francisco State University. He enjoyed painting scenes and buildings in the San Lorenzo Valley. He died Nov. 10, 1982 in Santa Cruz.


Grace Bonebrake Johnson (1869 - 1915)

The daughter of a wealthy hardware entrepreneur, John E. Bonebrake, Grace married George E. Johnson from Minnesota in 1900, and moved to California. The couple lived with their three daughters, Margaret, Grace Eleanor and Mildred in a lovely home on West Park Avenue in Boulder Creek where Grace pursued her artwork - watercolors and needlework - and tended her beautiful garden. She died in that garden, Jan 3, 1915.


Anne Mary Locatelli (1909 - 1987)

The daughter of Guiseppe and Sabina Locatelli, Anne was born in Boulder Creek on Dec 5, 1909. She graduated from Boulder Creek High School in 1929, and started painting in 1950 under the tutelage of Louise Cunningham of Felton. Her focus was historic buildings and sites of the area and she completed a series of 36 paintings. They were donated to the Boulder Creek Fire Department in May, 1983, with a celebratory dinner attended by over 100 people. The paintings hang in the firehouse today, and are enjoyed by every visitor. Annie never married and died May 15, 1987.


George Newsome (1932 - 1998)

George was raised near Buffalo, New York in a home full of paintings and decorated furniture, the products of his mom, who was also his first art teacher. He was a 1954 graduate of Alfred University where he earned a fine arts degree with honors in ceramics.
Following his graduation, George moved to Southern California. For the next thirty years, he worked for Vernon Kilns, then Metlox Pottery where he designed several of the top selling dinnerware patterns in the United States.

In the early 60’s, while continuing to design for Metlox, George moved his family from Los Angeles to Boulder Creek. The first Red Rooster Pottery Shop was opened in Ben Lomond, moving a few years later to a larger location at 12804 Highway 9 in Boulder Creek. The Red Rooster became a popular gift shop and gallery which featured his dinnerware patterns, original oil paintings, pen and ink drawings, hand thrown pottery and hand decorated antique furniture. Outside the shop was a beautiful, peaceful garden nursery, complete with ponds, fountains and a bird aviary.


Barbara Jean Tomlin (1932 - 1990)

She was born July 19, 1932 to Sue and Eugene Meschi in Santa Cruz. They moved to Boulder Creek, along with her younger brother, Eugene Meschi, Jr. when she was in Elementary School.

In 1952, she married her high school sweetheart, Robert “Bud” Tomlin. She continued to live in Boulder Creek while he served in the Korean War. Upon his return, they built their home and raised their children, Debby and Bob, Jr.

Later, following her talent and love of art, she pursued lessons of painting. One of her teachers was Louise Cunningham of Felton. Their relationship of teacher and student happily continued into the 60’s and the 70’s. When Barbara became diabetic in the 80’s, eventually her eyesight suffered and she could no longer paint. Her multitude of beautiful paintings were enjoyed by many family, friends, and others in Santa Cruz County.

She passed away on June 4, 1990, leaving behind a legacy, not only of artistic ability, but with a reputation of a phenomenal cook. Barbara was a wonderful kind, caring soul who loved and was loved by many in the Valley.
Barbara Winner