The Irvine Museum
Of Springtimes Past
January 21 through May 1, 1999
Continuing an annual tradition, The Irvine Museum will display a group of vivid paintings of Spring as portrayed by California Impressionists painters from 1880 to 1930. "Of Springtimes Past" is an exhibition of paintings assembled from the museum's extensive holdings, as well as pieces from private collections.
The nostalgic ideal of California as an unsullied Eden is evident in numerous paintings executed nearly a century ago. Vast vistas of gentle rolling hills, covered with brilliant wildflowers as far as the eye could see, will adorn the walls of the museum. Many of these works were painted in meadows and plateaus deep in the hills but a surprising number of them are located in or near what are now bustling cities.
One of California's best know wiIdflower painters lived in Santa Barbara. John Gamble (1863-1957) was living in San Francisco when the devastating earthquake and fire of 1906 destroyed his house and studio, with all his possessions. Abandoning San Francisco, Gamble headed for Los Angeles, but instead settled in Santa Barbara. An avid student of wildflowers, he earned national fame for his glorious, color-filled scenes of poppies and lupines. His colors were so bright that art writers called his paintings "Gamble's prairie fires."
Granville Redmond (1871 - 1935) is one of the museum's more requested artists. Redmond, who was deaf and mute, is known for dark, moody, landscapes as well as dazzling views of wildflowers. Also on view will be a selection of watercolors by Paul de Longpre (1855-1911), the noted French flower painter who built a sensational house and rose garden in Hollywood, long before it became known as a tourist destination. In addition to works by notable painters, the museum will show examples by lesser-known yet excellent artists.
Above images from top to bottom and left to right: Benjamin C. Brown, Blue Mountains in Spring, oil on canvas, 28 1/4 , x 36 inches, collection of Joan Irvine Smith Fine Arts; John Gamble, Goleta Point, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches, collection of The Irvine Museum; Paul DeLongpre, French Bridal Roses, watercolor, 20 x 14 inches, collection of The Irvine Museum; Granville Redmond, Southern California Hills, c. 1931, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 inches, collection of The Irvine Museum. All photos courtesy of Irvine Museum.
Resource Library editor's note:
For biographical information on artists referenced in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists
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This article was originally published in 1998.
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