Ralph Love was a life time member of the Society of Western Artists (SWA), judged and participated in many of their shows. One of the most notable was at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, where his "Eternal Strength" seascape won the first purchase award. He was also a lifetime member of the Laguna Beach Art Association, having judged regularly at the Laguna Festival of Arts. For many years, he taught as well as painted. His students were made up of avid artists throughout California, and their classroom was the wide-open spaces. On rainy days, the class would meet in the old Art Shack in Temecula, which Love opened in the mid-fifties. It was from this Art Shack that his work received national recognition. In 2005, the Temecula Historical Society installed and dedicated a bronze plaque on the old Art Shack site. Ralph Love (1907-1992) Painter of the West
Ralph Love was perhaps most well known for painting the Grand Canyon. Arizona Life featured his work on the cover and on the inside spread, showing several of his original oils. Senator Barry Goldwater owned several of Love's Grand Canyons, and these are now in the Goldwater Museum. Other celebrities have purchased his oils, as well as museums in Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona and California. His desert scenes are immortalized in Palm Springs at the Palm Desert Living Desert Museum through dioramas. Another of these unique displays can be seen at the historical Mission Inn in Riverside, California. The Frontier Museum in Temecula, California has honored Ralph Love in their museum publication with two pages of his contribution to the area through his art. The late Erle Stanley Gardner, who commissioned a Love painting of his ranch, is the only other person in this publication. Ralph Love paintings are hanging in several other museums throughout the West, including the Northern Arizona Museum in Flagstaff, Arizona, the Phillips 66 Museum, and the Leanin' Tree Museum in Boulder, Colorado.
Ralph Love is listed in "Who's Who of International Art" in the Tenth Anniversary edition of the "Southwest Art Magazine" hardcover contemporary artist listings, and has been featured several times in Southwest Art and Artist of the Rockies, and was featured in 1991 in Art of the West, the last article before he died. He is listed in the Edan Hughes reference book of Early California Painters from 1840 to 1940. Though art was his career from his youth, Ralph Love was also an ordained minister. He often used his art in the ministry, and would combine the two in special meetings in churches all over the United States. A very special treat for the congregation was when he would pick up the violin and play a medley of favorite hymns. In his studio, he always painted to classical music, and would often stop and play his favorite passages on the violin. Ralph Love received no formal art training, but was literally self-taught. It was when he was about eleven or twelve, his teacher took the class the Los Angeles Museum of Art, and he discovered what he wanted to do. He remembered standing in front of one of the old Flemish masters, and it just came to him... "I can do that!" And he did.
As a young artist, he had the privilege of painting for two years with Sam Hyde Harris. This was the only real "formal" training Ralph Love had. The rest was from avidly devouring all the art books in the library he could find. Bertha, Ralph Love's wife of 62 years, passed away in 1996. She handled the business part of the art for many years. Together, they raised four children. Marian Brown, now retired, owned a secretarial service in Oakland, California; Evelyn Norris lives in Carlsbad, California; Corwyn Love is retired from McDonald-Douglas Corporation, and Lee Youngman owns the Lee Youngman Galleries in Calistoga, California. Eleven grandchildren and twenty-three great- grandchildren survive Ralph Love.