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An Orpha Mae Klinker Christmas Card

Marvelous illustration of a portion of Oahu (Diamond Head, Waikiki, Oahu, Pearl Harbor, Kaneohe Bay, etc), prepared as a 1947 Christmas card by artist Orpha Klinker.

The map provides a lively look at Oahu immediately after War War II, and Klinker's visit, locating dozens of tourist attractions and points of interest, complete with Klinker's illustrated humor.

The card suggests that Klinker's travelled from San Francisco to Hawaii via the Matsonia, during which time she painted the portrait of Captain Johnson, Anna May Wong, the Pierre's and Miss La France, then returning by way of Los Angeles.  Anna May Wong was an American actress, considered to be the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star, as well as the first Chinese American actress to gain international recognition. 

Orpha Mae Klinker

Orpha Mae Klinker (1891–1964) was an American artist known for her California plein air landscape paintings and etchings as well as her portraiture and early California historic sites. She was also an active illustrator and graphic designer.

Klinker was recognized for her series of historical and pioneer paintings. She painted a series of portraits of notable Californians and memorialized many historic early California structures on canvas. On October 14, 1963, she was awarded a resolution by the City Council of Los Angeles, recognizing her outstanding professional skill and appreciation for the many honors she has brought to the city. The commendatory scroll praised Klinker for her role as an oil painter and mentioned many of her portrait subjects such as General John C. Frémont, Andrés Pico, José Antonio Carrillo and Dr. Joseph P. Widney.

Orpha Klinker designed the County Seal of Los Angeles in 1939, winning a design competition for Los Angeles County for an insignia that represented commerce, shipping, agriculture, airplane manufacturing, the motion picture industry, the petroleum industry and recreation. This insignia was in use by the County until 1957.

Four of Klinker's historic portraits are in the permanent collection of the Campo de Cahuenga historic site in Los Angeles, CA: John C. Fremont, Andres Pico, Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes, and Jose Antonio Carrillo. Klinker's oil portrait of former Los Angeles Mayor Frank L. Shaw hangs in the Los Angeles City Hall Tower in the gallery of mayors.

Klinker designed the official flag for the City of Beverly Hills in California prior to July 1960.The flag was presented to the City of Beverly Hills by Jimmy McHugh and the Native Daughters of the Golden West. It was adapted by Klinker for the City's 50th Anniversary Celebration in 1964.

On February 23, 1955, California Congressman Gordon L. McDonough presented to the U. S. House of Representatives a new United States flag design created by Klinker incorporating two additional stars for the proposed statehood of Alaska and Hawaii. This was entered into Congressional Record on March 7, 1955. The new proposed design spelled the words "Freedom" with 50 white stars on a blue field. The record reflects, "The design created by Miss Klinker symbolizes the spirit of freedom which has ever represented the guiding principle of our American way of life, and when we again rearrange the stars of the flag, adoption of this design would truly represent within our flag this spirit of America."  The proposed design change was not selected when the new 50-star U.S. flag was formally created.

McDonough also cites in the Congressional Record one of Klinker's noted patriotic oil paintings. He states, "Among her famous works is her painting in which freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom from want, and freedom to petition the government of the United States are represented." The painting was exhibited publicly at the Wilshire Federal Savings & Loan art gallery in Los Angeles.  Klinker's painting, titled Symbols of Freedom was purchased by the Republican Women's Committee and in 1962 was presented to former American Vice-President, Richard Nixon, prior to his American Presidency, at his mother's home in Whittier, California. Correspondence regarding this work resides at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California.