Click main image below to view enlargements and captions.

View, California, San Diego, Balboa Park, Drawings by Eric Poulson, c. 1958-73


Eric Poulson
Balboa Park, San Diego [San Diego Zoo Entrance]
Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo [Flamingoes]
Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo [Polar Bears]
Balboa Park [San Diego Zoo Tour Bus]

Balboa Park, San Diego [Statue of El Cid and the House of Hospitality]
Globe Theater, Balboa Park, San Diego
Balboa Park, San Diego [The Botanical Building and Lily Pond]
Balboa Park [The House of Hospitality]

Spanish Village, Balboa Park
Highway 163, Cabrillo Freeway

American: c. 1958-1973
Charcoal and conté crayon on paper and illustration board
Signed lower right “Eric Poulson”; some titled
15 x 11 inches average overall, approximate
$200 each

Various drawings are from a large collection of drawings in our inventory by Eric Poulson depicting landscape and city scenes in San Diego, California, and the surrounding area.

The particular ones shown here are of the Balboa Park area. A 1,200-acre recreation and cultural center at the northeast edge of the business district, Balboa Park’s grounds, museums, historic buildings and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.  Some of the buildings in Poulson’s drawings, including the House of Hospitality and the Botanical Building, were built by the City of San Diego for the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition.  In 1930, the city added Anna Hyatt Huntington’s equestrian statue of “El Cid” to the plaza.  A portion of Highway 163, the Cabrillo Freeway, runs north-south through a wooded canyon in the park and has been designated a scenic highway.

Product description continues below.


As a group, these drawings show a cross-section of San Diego as it appeared about half a century ago, from the historic and picturesque, to the commercial and modern.  They were perhaps part of a large commission from a business or civic organization, possibly the Chamber of Commerce, whose Old San Diego building is depicted in one of the drawings, or possibly drawn for a publication such as the San Diego Evening Tribune, where he was a staff artist. As drawings, they have an informal sketchbook quality, at the same time accurately capturing a sense of place and the details of landscape and architecture. Indeed, extant examples of more finished watercolors of these subjects are known, in the collection of the artist.

Eric Poulson began his career as an artist in his native Montreal, Quebec, in Canada. He moved to San Diego in 1958, where for 15 years he was the staff artist for the San Diego Evening Tribune. In that capacity, he contributed dozens of drawings, including portraits of politicians, visiting heads of state, and sports celebrities. He kept a scrapbook of letters of appreciation from his subjects, including a letter from former President Richard Nixon thanking him for a sketch of First Lady Patricia Nixon.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual light overall toning, wear, soiling associated with illustration art.  Pencil margin lines in many of the works, as issued.


Albert, Janice.  “Helen Hunt Jackson.” California Authors.  20 April 2004. (27 October 2004).

Anderson, Dorothy. “Letters to the Editor: Cove closing a sign of the times.”  16 January 2003.  La Jolla Light.

“Cabrillo.” National Park Service. (25 October 2004).

Heath, Lynda. “Re: Drawings by Eric Poulson.” E-mail. 11 July 2006.

“Old Town State Historic Park.” San Diego Historical Society. (25 October 2004).

Shupe, Gordon.  “A Brief History of the First Presbyterian Church, San Diego, California.” First Presbyterian Church. (27 October 2004).

Additional information


20th Century