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Friends and Patrons

Ritter had a number of interesting friends, many his (hard-)drinking buddies. George Morgan, the son of Frank Morgan (The Wizard of Oz), who was wealthy from the family business distributing Angostura Bitters, was a drinking buddy. John Coleman, who taught at Art Center, and his family were also close friends who visited the Edgewater Way house frequently.

Ritter befriended Chick Rosenthal who lived in the same Hollywood bungalows in the late 1930's and maintained that friendship until Rosenthal's death in 1984. Rosenthal accompanied Ritter to New York in a van in 1941 when Ritter was offered the one-man show at the Newhouse Galleries.

There were also number of local Santa Barbara characters Julian was quite devoted to. One was Ortlieb Constantine, who occupied a ramshackle compound on the outskirts of Santa Barbara and had several sons. Ortlieb made home-brew beer, among other things. His place was the scene of many drinking parties where Hilde had to pick Julian up (literally) and drive him home. According to Julian's son, Michael Ritter, Julian seemed to attract many "screwballs."

Julian also maintained friendships with a number of his models including Janet Boyd, a Las vegas showgirl whom he had painted several times.

Ritter began a long-term friendship with Rudolph Axford (The Argonaut: Venice) from Venice, CA in the mid-1950s. Rudolph shared Julian's conservative politics and love of boats, and was a Ritter patron who accumulated many pieces of his work.

Bernard Schanz was the owner of Bernard's Gallery, where the Puntarenas, Costa Rica exhibition was held. He was also a close friend of Julian.

Greg Autry was another friend and patron. Autry met Ritter in 1983 after he purchased a fake "Julian" in a Laguna Beach gallery. Autry both commissioned paintings and purchased Julian's work. Autry purchased the Silver Slipper collection of Julian's paintings from the Summa Corporation in a closed-bid auction in the late 1980s.

A man named Bill Morgan also commissioned a number of paintings.

There are numerous entries in Julian's books from January 1947 through December 1955 for the sale of various paintings. Is is unclear from the entries which are commissioned and which are sales of existing pieces but it is clear that there were a number of collectors.

From Julian's books:
  • Ginsberg 6
  • George Morgan 7
  • P Levy 4
  • Gelber 9
  • Wilger 3
  • Lederer 4
  • Thiel 8
  • Waldo 3
  • Hilb 18 (May be dealer)
  • H Clenell 3
  • Cristenson 2
  • Curtis 3

Unfortunately, there are no records of sales after 1955 though we know that Julian had patrons and collectors from the late 50s through 1968 and again after his return from the voyage in 1970.