Culbertson was born in Shanghai, China. After her father, a missionary, was murdered there, her mother moved the family to Brooklyn. In 1905 Josephine moved from the East Coast to Carmel where, at the corner of 7th and Lincoln, she built a home/studio she named Gray Gables. It was there in her living room, in 1927, that the Carmel Art Association was formed. This oil sketch of the Old Custom House is unusual in that almost half of the composition consists of
empty space.- The perspective seems to be that of looking out a window slightly above the scene. The size of the Cypress tree, compared to dated paintings by other artists, would suggest that the work was done in the early 1920's.
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