Belle Baranceanu (1902-1988)
Belle Goldschlager Baranceanu was born in Chicago in 1902. As a young artist she traveled to the the Minneapolis School of Art to attend art school. During the 1920s she also attended the Art Institute of Chicago and began as teaching art while she continuing to paint. Baranceanu moved to San Diego in 1933. Like many artists during the Great Depression, she was hired by the Public Works of Art Project to paint murals. She completed a large mural for the n the La Jolla Post Office as well as Roosevelt Jr. High School.
Baranceanu was an accomplished artist and exhibited paintings at galleries and museums including Carnegie Institute, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum. Baranceanu also taught courses at the La Jolla School of Arts & Crafts and Frances Parker School.
During the 1940s Baranceanu painted in a style similar to Depression-era WPA muralist work. One of her paintings, a depiction of a mother and her two children, it is a traditional subject but painted with a modernist sensibility. Baranceanu’s subjects are painted with a distinguishable flatness and are not heavily modeled as in traditional historic portraits. Her palette consisted of bold colors. The trees depicted in the background of some of her works appear almost fresco-like in their evocative simplicity. Her works are held in the collections of the San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Historical Society, among others.