Pickford, Chaplin, Gable and Katharine Hepburn, as well as movie stars of the present, have been guests at the Hotel del Coronado. Eleven U.S. presidents have slept here. Charles Lindbergh was feted at a 1927 banquet for his solo crossing of the Atlantic in “The Spirit of St. Louis,” and a replica of his plane circled above the guests in the dining room.
Clicking this link will open a new window with a website showing a lovely impressionist painting created by artist Louis Betts about 1907. It is of Coronado Beach, and Betts probably painted it while he was outside. The top of the page has a detail of the painting. Below that is a blank area above a row of small photos (called thumbnails). Click on the thumbnail of this painting, the one on the far lef,t to see the entire painting.
I can almost feel the warmth of the sand. The lady in the white dress carries a yellow umbrella, and the top of it is lit by the sun. The umbrella shades her upper body, and she herself casts a shadow on the sand.
With all the sunshine and bathers enjoying the ocean, I wondered why the painting is called “Mid-Winter, Coronado Beach.” I’ve been to Coronado Beach in summer, which I will write about in a few days, and this looks like summertime to me. This afternoon, it’s 75 degrees in Coronado and the water is 69 degrees. (Yes, the water is this cool off of San Diego, the southernmost city on the west coast of the continental U.S. That’s because the surface current along the Pacific coast comes from Alaska. Along the east coast of the U.S., the current comes from the Gulf of Mexico, so beach water is warmer on that coast.)
But mid-winter in Coronado? Isn’t the water chilly? The water then averages 59 degrees, but this painting was an advertisement for the Southern Pacific Railway.
This painting will be on display only until September 20, and then it will go into storage. The exhibit is called “Paradise Found.” I will try to see it. Art is worth the drive, and I could use a little paradise. I’ll bet you could, too. This is what art is for.
Hotel del Coronado — Part Three will describe the beach in the present, and then I will move on to the amazing events at the hotel, as I promised in Part One. If you haven’t read Part One, the previous post, take a look at it and view a scene from the #1 comedy of all time.