California Art History

with an emphasis on representational art


Other online texts and images


1894 Midwinter Fair: Women Artists, an appreciation - Historical Essay by Mae Silver, March 17, 1994, from FoundSF. Accessed July, 2015.

About The California Style from Accessed July, 2015.

Albert Bierstadt's The Domes of the Yosemite  is a 2018 exhibit at the Morse Museum of American Art which says: "The Domes of the Yosemite, the largest existing painting by Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), is making its post-conservation debut at the Morse through a special loan from the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum in Vermont. The monumental 1867 painting, which has not been seen outside the Athenaeum since its installation there in 1873, appeared on the American scene in the context of the Hudson River School." Also see news release and essays about Bierstadt in America's Distinguished Artists and page about the painting's conservation.  Accessed 3/18

American Legacy Fine Arts website has an Art Library page, including links to:

Also, there are links to biographical essays for several historic CAC members. Accessed July, 2015.

Ann Harlow, Independent Scholar, has a blog devoted to California art and culture, 1850-1950. In her page titled "Other Writings" she has links to three texts written by her: "The Beginnings of San Francisco's Art Museums," a 26-page article in The Argonaut, Journal of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society 21:2 (Winter 2010); "William Keith: California's Poet-Painter," a 6-page article from American Art Review 6:6 (Dec 1994), and "California Paintings, 1910-1940: Selections from the Mills College Collection," an 8-page article from American Art Review 12:5 (Sept 2000). Accessed April, 2016

Art and exploration in California, 1791-1827, by Claire Perry, April, 1999, from Magazine Antiques. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

Art & Environment: The Paintings of Andrew P. Hill is a 2017 exhibit at the New Museum Los Gatos which says: "Featured are 12 rarely displayed paintings by Andrew P. Hill depicting Santa Clara Valley landscapes and portraits of prominent San Jose citizens from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Hill's wife, Florence Hill, Jane Stanford, Julia Farney, and the Rea family."  Accessed 11/17

Artists in La Jolla, 1890-1950, by Jean Stern, from The Journal of San Diego History, Fall 2008, Volume 54, Number 4 (14 page.pdf file) Accessed July, 2015.

Autumn's Glory, Winter's Grace, an exhibit held September 29, 2012-January 17, 2013 at The Irvine Museum. Accessed February, 2015.

Bay Area Figurative Movement from Wikipedia. Accessed July, 2015.

Bay Area Figurative from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.

Big Orange: California Citrus Label Art, from the California Historical Society. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery offers an online archive of monthly newsletter articles dating from 2007. Accessed July, 2015.

Buena Vista: California Artists in Mexico 1928-1970, an exhibit held November 19, 2010 through May 1, 2011 at the California Heritage Museum. Accessed December, 2015 is a comprehensive website by Nancy Moure covering many aspects of representational California art including biographies, information on artworks, publications, exhibits, galleries and much more. See TFAO's Author Study and Index for links to essays by Ms. Moure published in Resource Library. Accessed July, 2015.

California Art Club and a list of artist members from Accessed July, 2015.

California Artists collected by Kevin Daniel. Accessed July, 2015.

The California Art Research Archive is an online presentation concerning the 20-volume publication "California Art Research," created in the 1930s. Included are links to Gene Hailey's introduction about the California art research project and Ellen Schwartz's historical essay about the California art research project. Also included are comprehensive biographies of 36 historic California artists. Accessed July, 2015.

California as Muse: The Art of Arthur and Lucia Mathews is a 2008 exhibit at the Akron Art Museum which says: "Two of California's most important early twentieth century artists are finally being rediscovered by the rest of the country. California as Muse presents almost seventy paintings, drawings, furniture and decorative pieces by Arthur and Lucia Mathews, who strove to unite the fine and applied arts." Accessed 3/17

California Desert Art is an online magazine covering the art, history and and landscape of the California desert. Accessed July, 2015.

California Dreaming: Contemporary Art from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation is a 2017 exhibit at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University which says: "This exhibition focuses on California art from the 1960s to the present, with an emphasis of the historic period of the 60s through the 80s. Businessman and art collector Frederick Weisman believed in supporting the art in his own city and during this time became an important patron to many of the region's up and coming artists. The work on view reflects his deep personal relationships with many of the painters and chronicles the period when Los Angeles emerged to become one of the nation's leading art centers." Accessed 9/17

California Dreaming: Ed Moses, Billy Al Bengston, & Ed Ruscha  is a 2017 exhibit at the New Britain Museum of American Art which says: "The work of Moses, Bengston, and Ruscha defines an epoch in American painting, and this exhibition - the largest ever to be staged at the New Britain Museum of American Art - shines a spotlight on their collective achievement and resounding legacy."   Accessed 8/17

California Impressionism from Wikipedia is a multi-part posting. The introduction says "The terms California Impressionism and California Plein-Air Painting describe the large movement of 20th century California artists who worked out of doors (en plein air), directly from nature in California, United States. Their work became popular in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California in the first three decades after the turn of the 20th century. Considered to be a regional variation on American Impressionism, the painters of the California Plein-Air School are also described as California Impressionists; the terms are used interchangeably." Contents include 1 History, 1.1 Artists, 2 Northern California Tonalism and Impressionism, 3 Southern California Impressionism, 4 Decline of California Impressionism, 5 Revival of interest in early California Impressionism, 6 California en plein air revival, 6.1 Original California Plein-Air School, 6.2 Rehabilitation of the early California Impressionists, 6.3 Teachers form a bridge between the Plein-Air School and the Plein-Air Revival, 6..4 Origins of the California Plein-Air Revival, 6.5 Re-organization of the California Art Club, 6.6 Plein-Air shows. Accessed August, 2016.

California Impressionism: Selections from The Irvine Museum, an exhibit held September 28, 2013-January 9, 2014 at The Irvine Museum. Accessed February, 2015.

California Painters by Teta Collins from Accessed July, 2015.

California Paintings, by Allison Eckardt Ledes, April, 2006, from Magazine Antiques. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

California Regionalist Art Collectors Club provides information on exhibitions and artists active during the 1930-1970 period. Accessed July, 2015.

California (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.

California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894 from Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

The California School of Design: Supplement of the Mark Hopkins Institute Review of Art, [article from] The Mark Hopkins Institute Review of Art: An Illustrated Magazine, June, 1902, Volume 1, Number 5. Accessed July, 2015.

California Scene Painting is the focus of a 2016 exhibit held at the Hilbert Museum at Chapman University in Orange, CA. Students interviewed Gordon McClelland, the curator of Narrative Visions. The video and full transcript of the interview was posted on a Chapman blog June 6, 2016 and may be seen here. Accessed June, 2016.

"California's Religious Awakening" is a 11/19/00 Los Angeles Times article by Mary Rourke written about an exhibit at LACMA. The article says: "California has a reputation for starting trends, and the state gets special credit for its contributions in religion at one local exhibition. "Made in California: Art, Image and Identity, 1900-2000," at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, traces the uninhibited history of religions, cults and spiritual beliefs that took root here during the past century. Religion is only one of many themes in the show, which focuses on art and culture. But spiritual references offer a lesson in how California artists relate to the sacred." Accessed September, 2016.

California Style from Accessed July, 2015.

California Tonalism from Wikipedia is a multi-part posting covering the Barbizon influence, Whistler influence, Tonalism in Northern California, Tonalism in Southern California, California Pictorialist Photography, California Pictorialist Photography exhibitions, California Tonal Impressionism and also California Tonalism Exhibitions. Accessed August, 2016.

"California Watercolors" article from The California Style by Gordon McClelland & Jay T. Last, posted with the written permission/consent of the author. Copyright 1985, Hillcrest Press, Inc. from CalArt. Accessed July, 2014

California Society of Printmakers, California Society of Etchers from Wikipedia. Accessed July, 2015.

Carmel Mission Basilica's Web site includes information on exhibits of California art and artists. Accessed July, 2015.

Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road was an exhibit held June 10 - Sep 11 at University of Michigan Museum of Art, which said: "This exhibition presents new and recent work by Los Angeles-based artist Catherine Opie, one of the essential figures in contemporary photography. Beginning in 2010, Opie spent six months taking photographs at the Bel Air, California, residence of Elizabeth Taylor (1932­2011). The exhibition includes fifty works drawn from two series, Closets and Jewels and 700 Nimes Road. Opie's lens captures the essence of the Hollywood legend through her personal objects and mementos, and portrays Taylor's life experience and eccentricity as an illusory subject, one that cannot be specifically designated or precisely described. In the artist's words, the project is not about the relationship to celebrity but about 'the relationship to what is human.'" "Catherine Opie's 700 Nimes Road review - LA's triple-threat shines like a diamond" by Jordan Riefe was posted 9 February 2016 by The article has numerous quotes by the artist. Accessed August, 2016.

Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California is a 2017 exhibit at the Craft and Folk Art Museum which says: "The exhibition features over 100 artists' books (unique and mass editions), altered and sculptural books, zines, and artist-driven publications made in Southern California between the 1960s and present day." Accessed 2/17

Chouinard Art Institute, from Wikipedia. Accessed July, 2015.

Claremont Modern: The Fiesta Artists of Padua Hills, 1953-1959, an exhibit held November 18 December 18, 2011 at the Claremont Museum of Art. Accessed July, 2014

Coastline to Skyline: The Philip H. Greene Gift of California Watercolors, 1930-1960, an exhibit held October 11, 2008, through January 4, 2009 at the Hood Museum of Art. Includes essay by Barbara J. MacAdam, Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art, audio lecture and press release. Accessed January, 2015.

Contraption: Rediscovering California Jewish Artists is a 2018 exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum which says: "Contraption: Rediscovering California Jewish Artists is a group show that presents the work of sixteen California-identified artists of Jewish descent - both historical and living - whose work refers to the machine either literally or metaphorically."  Also see press release   Accessed 3/18

Creating an Artistic Basis: Local Artists Groups from the Early 20th Century, an exhibit held August 2, 2010 to October 8, 2012 at the San Diego Historical Society Museum. Includes press coverage. Accessed April, 2015.

Dusk till Dawn is a 2017 exhibit at the Irvine Museum which says: "Usually, an artist will paint a beautiful landscape bursting in bright sunlight with colorful trees and flowers, things one would expect to see during the day. This exhibition is different as the paintings on display show those same subjects but at night or at the outer edges of the day, when the sun is setting or when it is rising." To read more after exhibit closes, go to "Past Exhibitions" section of museum website.  Accessed 6/17

Early Artists in Yosemite from Yosemite Indians and Other Sketches (1936) by Mrs. H. J. Taylor, from Accessed July, 2015.

Early California Art Blog, with illustrated texts about exhibits at museums, historic artists and other information, by William A. Karges Fine Art Accessed July, 2015.

Early Days in California: William Keith, John Muir, and Joseph LeConte, an exhibit held January 15 - May 21, 2005 at the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art. Accessed April, 2015.

Early Los Angeles Art Galleries, Clubs, Museums, Art Schools and Teachers from California Art Club. Accessed July, 2015.

Early Sculpture and Sculptors in San Diego by Bruce Kamerling from San Diego History Center . Accessed July, 2015.

E. Charlton Fortune: The Colorful Spirit is a 2017 exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art which says: "One of California's most trailblazing artists, E. Charlton Fortune (1885-1969) had a thriving career as a painter until the age of forty-three, when she began a pioneering new vocation in liturgical art. E. Charlton Fortune: The Colorful Spirit pairs the artist's impressionist and modernist landscapes with her ecclesiastical paintings, sculptures, furnishings, and other designs produced for the Catholic Church."  Also see press release.  Accessed 9/17

Exuberant Earth: Ceramics by Ruth Rippon is a 2017 exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum which says: "Featuring 90 pieces from the 1950s through the 1990s, Exuberant Earth: Ceramics by Ruth Rippon collectively demonstrates the breadth of the 90-year-old artist's prolific and influential career."   Also see press release  Accessed 12/17

Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California, an exhibit held September 20, 2014 - April 12, 2015 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Includes videos. Accessed April, 2015.

Form and Landscape: Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, 1940-1990, an online exhibit from Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, featuring numerous essays and photographs. Accessed August, 2015.

The Founding of the California Art Club: December 1909 from California Art Club. Accessed July, 2015.

Form and Landscape: Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, 1940-1990, an online exhibit from Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, featuring numerous essays and photographs. Accessed May, 2014.

Full Spectrum - Paintings by Raimonds Staprans is a 2017 exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum which says: "Born and raised in Riga, Latvia, Raimonds Staprans has lived in Northern California for more than six decades - nearly his entire career... Many of his paintings showcase the landscape and architecture of the Golden State, having an equal basis in reality and the artist's imagination." Also see 3//13/17 article in Sacramento Bee. Also hear or see Archives of American Art oral history interview with Raimonds Staprans  Accessed 8/17

Gallery 32 and Its Circle: Los Angeles' African American Art Community in the 1960s and '70s, an exhibit held January 24 - March 22, 2009 at the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University. Includes media reviews. Accessed February, 2015

The Golden Twenties: Portraits and Figure Paintings by Joseph Kleitsch is a 2017 exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art which says: "The Golden Twenties is the first museum exhibition to assemble Kleitsch's remarkable portraits and figure paintings. With a jewel-toned palette influenced by his native Hungary and a lighter, golden palette developed after his arrival in California, the works demonstrate the artist's exceptional ability to reveal the unique personality, demeanor, and essence of each subject." Also see press release. Accessed 9/17

Groves of Gold: California Fruit Box Labels, an exhibit held March 19 - August 14, 2005 at the California Heritage Museum. Accessed December, 2015

Harmony of Light: Spring in California is a 2018 exhibit at the Irvine Museum Collection which says: "Harmony of Light comprises a selection of paintings by California Impressionists that show Spring in California from nearly a century ago. Although the year-round mild climate was a key factor in the growth of the Golden State, it was in the Spring that nature put on her most glorious display."  Accessed 4/18

Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University opened in 2016. According to Chapman University, "The collection, which includes oils, watercolors, sketches and lithographs of urban and industrial scenes, coastal views, farms, ranches and landscapes of everyday life, is a significant repository of art of the 20th century by California artists." Accessed July, 2016.

Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia is a 2017 exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive which says: "The BAMPFA presentation highlights the key role the Bay Area -- and especially Berkeley -- played in the art, architecture, and design of the counterculture movement. Creative innovators in Bay Area communities sought to create radical change -- technological, political, and ecological -- on the streets, in the classroom, and in government policy. See the press release. Accessed 3/17

History of the Carmel Art Association is presented on the CAA website. Includes brief biographies of several historic artists. Accessed May, 2015.

Inner Visions: Women Artists of California, an exhibit held March 17 through June 7, 2012 at The Irvine Museum. Accessed February, 2015.

Interview With Gordon McClelland, Curator of "Narrative Visions," an exhibition at the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University. The interview was conducted June 6, 2016. McClelland discusses the California Scene paintings collection of Mark Hilbert. The Art Collections at Chapman University blog page for the interview also contains a video. Accessed August, 2016

In the Land of Sunshine: Imaging the California Coast Culture is a 2016-17 exhibit curated by Gordon T. McClelland at Pasadena Museum of California Art. PMCA says the exhibit: "...assembles approximately 90 paintings inspired by the stunning vistas, lifestyles, and industries existing along the 840 miles of California coastline. Spanning from the mid-1800s to the present day, the oils, acrylics, and watercolors represent the diversity of California's artistic style as well as the surfers, sailors, sport fisherman, and residents who have settled in the beaches, harbors, cities, and ranches that dot the coast." Also see the press release and "How California's beaches inspired amazing artwork" by Michelle Mills, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 9/28/16. Accessed 10/16.

The Irvine Museum publishes its newsletter on its website. The newsletter contains commentaries about its exhibitions by its president James Swindon, and John Stern, it's executive director, as well as other educational materials mainly concerning California impressionist art. Accessed November, 2015.

I See Beauty in this Life: A Photographer Looks at 100 Years of Rural California, an exhibit held October 28, 2012 - March 23, 2013 at California Historical Society Museum. Includes gallery guide and numerous photos of gallery walls. Accessed June, 2014

Lasting Impressions: Twenty Years of The Irvine Museum, an exhibit held January 26-June 6, 2013 at The Irvine Museum. Accessed February, 2015.

Los Angeles Murals by Ruth Wallach, from USC Libraries. Accessed August, 2015.

Los Angeles Museum of Art provides via the Reading Room section of its website online exhibition catalogues regarding "Pacific Time" exhibitions from 1958 through 2001. Accessed July, 2015.

Luminist paintings in California - landscape painters by Alfred C. Harrison Jr., Nov, 2001, from Magazine Antiques. [Link found expired as of 11/7/11 audit. Source may contain this content via a revised URL. We are saving this citation for your reference]

1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition references:

Mastering the Medium: Works on Paper, an exhibit held June 19-September 19, 2013 at The Irvine Museum. Accessed February, 2015.

Milford Zornes: The Claremont Years is a 2017 exhibit at the Claremont Museum of Art which says: "Milford Zornes: The Claremont Years presents watercolor landscapes from the years the artist lived and worked in Claremont: as a young man in 1930s; 1948-66 when he served as the director of the Padua Hills Art Institute; and his final years 1998-2008." Accessed 1/18

Moods of California is a 2017 exhibit at the Irvine Museum Collection which says: "Our Golden State is a multi-faceted expanse of land that boasts seven unique ecological regions, each with distinctive flora, fauna and climate. These regions are: North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast, Shasta-Cascades, Sierra Nevada, Central Valley and Desert. This exhibition explores the various landscapes that characterize California." Accessed 12/17

Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles is an encyclopedic site of murals, muralists and other information. Accessed August, 2015.

Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles, an exhibit held November 13, 2011 - February 27, 2012 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Includes Gallery Guide. Accessed March, 2015.

Natural History Museum, Los Angeles County diorama artists from Natural History Museum, Los Angeles County. Accessed August, 2015.

Ocean View: The Depiction of Southern California Coastal Lifestyle, an exhibit held August 10- October 5, 2003 at the Laguna Art Museum. Accessed February, 2015.

Panama-California Exposition from San Diego Historical Society. Accessed July, 2015.

The Painters' Club of Los Angeles from California Art Club. Accessed July, 2015.

Potteries of California website includes biographies of potters and other historic information, from Potteries of Calfornia. Accessed July, 2015.

"Regionalism - Its role in defining 'American Art'," an article by Jessica Bocinski, posted July 25, 2016 in the Art Collections at Chapman University blog. The article compares Regionalism to Abstract Expressionism. Accessed August, 2016

San Francisco Art Association from Wikipedia. Accessed July, 2015.

San Juan Capistrano Mission - sample of artists and works from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.   

The Significance of Mount Shasta as a Visual Resource in 19th and Early 20th Century California Art, by William Miesse. From Mount Shasta Companion, made possible through College of the Siskiyous and the California Community College Chancellor's Office. This is an in-depth online resource covering many aspects of California art history. Also see TFAO's California Representational Art History: Books for more information on this source. Accessed July, 2015.

"The Smoketree School: Painters respond to the call of the desert," by Ann Japenga, from Palm Springs Life / Winter-Spring 2011. Accessed 4/14

Society of Six, a group of historic Northern California artists, from Accessed July, 2015.

Soluble Power is a 2017 exhibit at the Carnegie Art Museum which says: "California artists excelling in both oil painting and watercolor burst out from 1925-1955 with a new a popular approach for watercolor that was quintessentially Californian and was named The California Style. Gone was the pencil detailed English approach, replaced with using large sheets of paper, sweeping free brush strokes, bold color and strong, quick lines." Accessed 8/17

Stories Woven In: The Navajo Way of Seeing, an exhibit held October 2 - December 19, 1999 at the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art. Accessed April, 2015.

The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll is a 2017 exhibit at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco / de Young Museum which says: "After exploring the place in which the counterculture germinated, the exhibition investigates the movement's aesthetic content. Largely drawing upon San Francisco's geographic location and colorful past, rock-poster artists including Griffin, Robert Fried, Stanley Mouse and others, and fashion designers such as Burray Olson and Jeanne Rose, layered stereotypical imagery of the American West alongside aesthetic styles borrowed from the Victorian era and Far Eastern cultures in their work, often in response to the city's growing music industry." Also see the press release for this excellent online presentation.  Accessed 4/18

Surf Culture: The Art History of Surfing, an exhibit held July 28-October 6, 2002 at the Laguna Art Museum. Includes essay by Craig Stecyk. Accessed February, 2015.

Tongue-in-Cheek, an exhibit about humor and absurdity in Bay Area art held May 9 - July 19, 2015 at the di Rosa Preserve. Includes exhibit brochure with essay by Amy Owen, and news release. Accessed December, 2015.

Tree Speak: Interpretation of the Rustlings is a 2017 exhibit at the Claremont Museum of Art which says: "Tree Speak: Interpretations of the Rustlings presents visual interpretations, by artists working in the area, which ascend from the concept or image of trees and leaves in nature." Accessed 5/17

Voices of Incarceration, an exhibit held January 25 - March 16, 2014 at the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University. Includes works by "incarcerated artists who convey their unique perspectives from inside the prison walls and those of artists who confront the American criminal justice system from outside its walls." Accessed February, 2015

Wayne Thiebaud: 1958-1968 is a 2018 exhibit at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art which says: "Wayne Thiebaud: 1958-1968 is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on a specific phase of Thiebaud's practice, offering visitors a rare opportunity to reconsider his early work and its influence on the trajectory of 20th century American painting." Accessed 1/18

Yosemite in Nineteenth-Century Prints by Kate Nearpass Ogden, Nov, 1997, from Magazine Antiques. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

10/16/13: TFAO wishes to thank Elaine Adams for suggesting references for this page.

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