DEMOND, Maurice

Dark-haired man dressed in grey jacket and cream waistcoat, white shirt and jade green tie, facing to the right, a yellow rose in his buttonhole, and holding a document. Oil on canvas, 34” x 26”, framed 37.5” x 29.5”, signed lower right in red ‘A. Muller-Ury 1929’

Present Whereabouts Unknown.

Pacific Auction Galleries, 241 S. Lander Street, Seattle, WA 98134, U.S.A., May 2003, Lot 648. Sold.
Private Collection.
Pacific Galleries Auction House, 241 S. Lander Street, Seattle, WA 98134, U.S.A., December 8, 2013, Sale S1312, Lot 101, Est: $500-1000, Sold for $750.
MBA Seattle Auction LLC, 717 South Third Street, PO Box 1617, Renton, WA, U.S.A., December 12/13, 2019, Lot 530, ‘Portrait of a Businessman 1929.’ Sold for $250.00.

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The sitter was born on 9 April 1875 in Providence, Rhode Island and died in Los Angeles on 24 June 1931 (he was buried in Hollywood). He was Director of the Los Angeles National Horse Show, and later co-founded the highly popular Breakfast Club. 

In the early days of Los Angeles, the elite of L.A. spent much of their free time horseback riding through the acres of Griffith Park. Maurice DeMond, had stables along Riverside Drive.  Next door, in a beautiful garden, he and a group of movers and shakers from the business and entertainment communities started the Los Angeles Breakfast Club.  This was in 1925 and in no time the organization reached international acclaim through the efforts of members such as Darryl F. Zanuck, Cecil B. De Mille, L.B. Mayer, and Edward Doheny. Will Rodgers and Irving Berlin were regular entertainers, Calvin Coolidge, newspaper moguls William Randolph Hearst and Harry Chandler often shared the microphone. Amelia Earhart landed her plane in the L.A. River and hiked up to speak at the club. President of the club was Rufus von KleinSmid of the University of Southern California. DeMond died of an apoplectic attack in June 1931, a fact which Muller-Ury recorded in his diary. In 1937 it moved premises to prevent bankruptcy as the depression weakened the club’s finances.

Painted in San Marino in 1929.