The Irvine Museum
Painted Light: California Impressionist Paintings: The Gardena High School/Los Angeles Unified School District Collection
Painted Light: California Impressionist Paintings from The Gardena High School/Los Angeles Unified School District Collection, a major assemblage of plein air paintings by many of California's greatest Impressionist painters, will be displayed at the Irvine Museum from May 8 through September 25, 1999. This collection originated in 1919, when a painting was purchased by the graduating class and presented as a gift to Gardena High School. The practice was continued by subsequent classes and the collection grew. After many years of languish, the collection was in danger of irretrievable loss when the art gallery at California State University Dominguez Hills decided to mount a significant restoration project. With a generous grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation, CSU Dominguez Hills directed the restoration and organized the exhibition, which opened at the University Art Gallery on January 19, 1999. Right: John Frost (1890-1937), Desert Twilight, oil on canvas, 27 x 32 inches
The exhibition was produced by Kathy Zimmerer, of CSU Dominguez Hills, and curated by Jean Stern, executive director of the Irvine Museum, who also wrote the catalogue essay and biographies of the artists. "These paintings are representative of one of the most remarkable and distinctive schools of regional American art," said Stern about the "Painted Light" works, assembled after three labor-intensive years of locating, identifying and restoring them to their original glory. "The artists stood apart in their use of color to portray the intense light of the Southern California landscape. The return of this collection to the public eye is a minor miracle."
Artists represented include Franz A. Bischoff, Jessie Arms Botke, Maurice Braun, Benjamin Chambers Brown, Alson Skinner Clark, Leland Curtis, Maynard Dixon, Victor Clyde Forsythe, John Frost, Joe Duncan Gleason, Armin Carl Hansen , Sam Hyde Harris, Clarence Kaiser Hinkle , Frank Tenney Johnson, Emil Jean Kosa, Jr., Jean Mannheim, Peter Nielsen, Edgar Alwin Payne, Hanson Duvall Puthuff, John Hubbard Rich, Carl Rungius, Walter Elmer Schofield, Clyde Eugene Scott, Jack Wilkinson Smith, James Guifford Swinnerton, Marion Kavanagh Wachtel, William Wendt and Orrin Augustine White.
Editor's note: Please see the prior article: CSU Dominguez Hills Presents Restored California Impressionist Works in Major Exhibit Funded by W.M. Keck Foundation
and this related video:
Visiting...With Huell Howser #726 - GARDENA ART is a 28 minute video by Huell Howser Productions. "Beginning in 1919, the graduating classes of Gardena High School bestowed gifts of paintings upon their beloved school. This program lasted until 1956, and amassed more than 90 works. Soon after the program ended, many of the paintings were stored away and forgotten about. Along with several Gardena High School Alumni, Huell visits the Irvine Museum to see an exhibit of 31 fully-restored paintings from this important collection." Text courtesy of Huell Howser Productions.
Resource Library features these essays concerning Southern California art:
The American Scene: Regionalist Painters of California 1930-1960: Selections from the Michael Johnson Collection by Susan M. Anderson
Dream and Perspective: American Scene Painting in Southern California by Susan M. Anderson
Modern Spirit: The Group of Eight & Los Angeles Art of the 1920s by Susan M. Anderson
A Seed of Modernism: The Art Students League of Los Angeles, 1906-53 by Julia Armstrong-Totten, Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick, and Will South
The Arts in Santa Barbara by Janet Blake Dominik
Ranchos: The Oak Group Paints the Santa Barbara Countryside by Ellen Easton
Speculative Terrain - Recent Views of the Southern California Landscape from San Diego to Santa Barbara by Gordon L. Fuglie
Sampler Tour of Art Tiles from Catalina Island by John Hazeltine
Mission San Juan Capistrano: An Artistic Legacy by Gerald J. Miller
Loners, Mavericks & Dreamers: Art in Los Angeles Before 1900 by Nancy Moure
Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and the Eucalyptus School in Southern California by Nancy Moure
San Diego Beginnings by Martin E. Petersen
Keeping the Faith: Painting in Santa Catalina 1935-1985 by Roy C. Rose
The Art Student League of Los Angeles: A Brief History by Will South
Artists in Santa Catalina Island Before 1945 by Jean Stern
The Development of Southern California Impressionism by Jean Stern
The Legacy of the Art Students League: Defining This Unique Art Center in Pre-War Los Angeles by Julia Armstrong-Totten
The Development of an Art Community in the Los Angeles Area by Ruth Westphal
A Bit of Paris in Heart Mountain by Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick
A Seed of Modernism: The Art Students League of Los Angeles, 1906-53 by Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick and Julia Armstrong-Totten
The Historic Landscapes of Malibu by Michael Zakian
and these articles:
California Impressionists at Laguna is a 2000 exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum organized by Florence Griswold Museum curator Jack Becker, the exhibition consists of twenty-six paintings by over a dozen California artists and selected works by members of the Lyme Art Colony, providing opportunity to compare and contrast the styles and subjects of the Lyme and Laguna Impressionists. The exhibition examines how the colonies contributed to the very identity of their regions; in the case of Laguna as a new Eden of perpetual sunshine, and for Lyme as a place rooted in traditional New England values. (left: William Wendt (1865-1946), South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, 1918, oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Stiles II)
Circles of Influence: Impressionism to Modernism in Southern California Art 1910-1930 is a 2000 exhibit at the Orange County Museum of Art which thematically explores Southern California's early twentieth-century artistic development -- from the expanding influences of East Coast artists, to the building of local art organizations striving for independent expression, and finally the early stirrings of avant-garde Modernism. Presenting over seventy paintings, drawn from public and private collections, the exhibition will focus attention on the progressive artists of Los Angeles and their response to national and international art movements.
Clarence Hinkle: Modern Spirit and the Group of Eight is a 2012 exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum which features over one hundred paintings dating from the early 1900s through the 1950s, and includes many paintings that were in the original exhibitions of the Group of Eight, especially their 1927 show at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science, and Art.
The Fieldstone Collection: Impressionism in Southern California, a 1999 exhibit at the the William D. Cannon Art Gallery, includes approximately 40 works, created between the late 1800s and early 1900s, depict the natural landscapes of the region in the "plein air" style of the French Impressionists.
The Final Eden: Early Images of the Santa Barbara Region is a 2002 Wildling Art Museum exhibit of paintings, watercolors and prints depicting the Central Coast of California between 1836 and 1960 and celebrating "its rural pristine and fertile nature," selected by guest curator, Frank Goss. It is his thesis that the paradise that once was California, a land of boundless resources and unlimited opportunities, has shrunk through urbanization and exploitation, and the Central Coast, not yet paved over, is "the Final Eden." (left: John Hall Esq. (1808 - ?), "Santa Barbara-Upper California," 1836, hand-colored lithograph.. Lent by Eric Hvolboi
First Generation: Art in Claremont, 1907-1957 is a 2008 exhibit at the Claremont Museum of Art, which traces the art history of Claremont and the region in the first 50 years after the city's incorporation in 1907.
On a clear day a century ago, one could see the peak of Mt. Baldy from virtually every corner of the Los Angeles basin, from ocean to desert. The original inhabitants of this area, the Tongva/Gabrielino Indians, called the mountain "Yoát," or snow. Its siren song has drawn generations of settlers to its shadow. Since the late 19th century, prominent artists have been among those attracted to the foothills of Mt. Baldy and its neighboring peaks-and the city of Claremont, in particular.The exhibit traces the art history of the region, from the work of such artists as Hannah Tempest Jenkins, Emil Kosa, Jr., and William Manker to that of Millard Sheets and his circle in the 1930s. Sheets's influence as artist and teacher extended as well to bringing artists such as Henry Lee McFee, Phil Dike, and Jean Ames to Scripps College, thereby enhancing the existing art community and assuring its lasting influence.
Greetings from Laguna Beach: Our Town in the Early 1900s is a 2000 Laguna Art Museum exhibit which illustrates Laguna's early history through 20 landscapes painted by some of the town's earliest artist residents as well as historical photos and a room-sized installation of a typical period cottage. The paintings include works by Franz A. Bischoff, Conway Griffith , Clarence Kaiser Hinkle, Joseph Kleitsch Millard Sheets, William Wendt, and Karl Yens.
L.A. RAW: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles 1945-1980, From Rico Lebrun to Paul McCarthy is a 2012 exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The figurative artists, who dominated the postwar Los Angeles art scene until the late 1950s, have largely been written out of today's art history. This exhibition, part of the Getty Foundations initiative "Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980," traces the distinctive aesthetic of figurative expressionism from the end of World War II, bringing together over 120 works by forty-one artists in a variety of media -- painting, sculpture, photography, and performance
The Legacy of the California Art Club in San Diego chronicles the history of art in San Diego, California from the turn of the 20th century through the beginning of the present century.
Painted Light: California Impressionist Paintings from the Gardena High School Los Angeles Unified School District Collection, hosted by CSU Dominguez Hills in 1999, features works by Franz A. Bischoff, Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971), Maurice Braun (1877-1941), Benjamin Chambers Brown, Alson Skinner Clark, Leland S. Curtis, Maynard Dixon, Victor Clyde Forsythe, John (Jack) Frost, Joe Duncan Gleason, Armin Carl Hansen, Sam Hyde Harris, Clarence Kaiser Hinkle, Frank Tenney Johnson, Emil Jean Kosa, Jr., Jean Mannheim, Peter Nielsen, Edgar Alwin Payne, Hanson Duvall Puthuff, John Hubbard Rich, Carl Clemens Moritz Rungius, Walter Elmer Schofield, Clyde Eugene Scott, Jack Wilkinson Smith, James Guifford Swinnerton, Marion Kavanagh Wachtel, William Wendt (1865-1946) and Orrin Augustine White.
Painted Light: California Impressionist Paintings: The Gardena High School/Los Angeles Unified School District Collection toured to The Irvbine Museum in 1999.
Representing LA, Pictorial Currents in Contemporary Southern California Art, featured at the Frye Museum in 2000, is the first group exhibition to explore the rich and varied representational painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture produced by Southern California artists from 1990 to 2000, and fills a gap in West Coast and Southern California art history by surveying and interpreting about 80 works by 70 artists working in representational or realist styles and approaches.
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