Northside SF
Acclaimed San Francisco painter Add Bonn honored on her 100th birthday

PG&E, by Add Bonn Acrylic on canvas

Telegraph Hill 2, by Add Bonn Acrylic on
canvas images: courtesy of McKinley Art Solutions
Add Bonn’s 100th birthday party was held in Supervisor David Chui’s City Hall offices on April 22. Her paintings are on display as part of a retrospective of her varied works. She has lived on Russian Hill since 1939.

The exhibition includes some of Bonn’s favorite pieces. Quite often San Francisco has been the subject of her work. In fact, she never studied abroad like so many American artists did. To this day, she is still intrigued by the landscape here.

Still lively and active, Bonn does not hold back her opinion. She’s miffed about the City’s unrestrained developments.

“We’ve got the bay, and we’ve got the hills,” she says. “I just wish we didn’t have the damned high rises. We used to be able to walk downtown and see the hills.”

There was a time when the building codes would not permit construction of a building over four stories.
“Well, we ought to bring that back,” she says.

Bonn’s work has been shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Palace of the Legion of Honor, the de Young Museum, the Oakland Art Museum, and has been part of a traveling show that was organized by the San Francisco Art Association.

For a long time, Bonn was the lead designer and color consultant for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. That was located where the Ritz-Carlton hotel stands today. For the firm, she designed offices, interiors, furniture, and displays.

She studied at the California School of Fine Arts. Today, it’s called the San Francisco Art Institute. Bonn took basic design with Marion Hartwell and studied crafts with Hazel Salmi.

Add Bonn exhibition: City Hall, Supervisor David Chiu’s office, Room 244,1 Carlton B. Goodlett Place (between McAllister & Grove) through May 8; 415-554-7450

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