National Academy Museum

and School of Fine Arts

 

All Things Bright and Beautiful: California Impressionist Paintings from the Irvine Museum

May 6 through July 5, 1998

 

Arthur G. Rider (1886-1976)

The Spanish Boat, c. 1921, oil on canvas, 35 x 41 inches

Courtesy of the Irvine Museum, Irvine California

The devastating earthquake of 1906 effectively ended San Francisco's reign as the Californian cultural center, and many of its resident artists moved, heading to the Monterey Peninsula, Southern California, and to the East Coast. The bohemian community and stunning beauty of Monterey - with its historic missions, deep blue bay, windswept rocky cliffs, and gnarled cypress trees - attracted many painters, and a true artists' colony took root. A virtual who 's who of California painters worked and exhibited in the area, among them, William Wendt, who later settled further south, John Gamble, and Guy Rose, each represented in the exhibition.

By the early teens, Northern California painters had been exposed to French Impressionism through trips abroad or at such exhibitions as the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco. Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir influenced the painters of California, among them Guy Rose, who had lived near Monet in Giverny, France. A reflection of the powerful impact this experience had on Rose, he later exhibited his work in New York in 1910 with Frederick Frieseke, Richard Miller, and Lawton Parker as "The Giverny Group."

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