Upcoming field trip. Saturday, April 7, 2007. Visit to the outstanding collections of early California art at the California Club and the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles. The schedule includes bus departure from Gustave Anders Restaurant at South Coast Plaza by 9 a.m. Morning tour of the California Club collection, followed by lunch at the same. Afternoon tour of the Jonathan Club collection and departure for Orange County at 3 p.m. Cost is $70/person. Checks should be sent to Walter Lachman in Laguna Niguel.
JEAN STERN - MEET OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Jean Stern has been surrounded with art literally his entire life. His father had dealt in antiques while the family lived in Morocco, but after immigrating to the US and settling the family in Los Angeles in 1956, he opened a gallery on 7th Street specializing in 19th century French painting. By the time Stern was 12 years old, his father had recognized his son’s ability to write and had assigned him the job of composing brief biographies and describing paintings for appraisals the father was making. Through this experience Stern was introduced to reference books, and he used his bi-lingualism (French/English) to translate from texts like Benezit’s French-language dictionary of artists. Although his father never attempted to train his three sons, Louis, Jean and George, in art, through exposure alone Stern absorbed the principles of line, color and composition. As a teenager, he and brother Louis often manned the desk in his father’s gallery when his father had to be absent. During quiet moments Stern perused the many books in his father’s art library.
From San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge), Stern obtained a B. A. in history in 1968.
About 1970, Stern almost became an art dealer when he and brothers Louis and George approached their father with the idea of incorporating his gallery into a family business. Their father, however, preferred his independence, and so the three boys went their separate directions: Louis to become a wine dealer, George to law school and Jean, already married, moved to San Diego where his wife Carol had secured employment.
In San Diego, Stern worked part time in a bank while he continued his education at San Diego State College (now University) obtaining his M. A. in Art History in 1972. Deciding to go for his doctorate, he was admitted to UCLA, which he attended for two years –residing at his parent's home in Van Nuys during the school week and returning to San Diego on weekends. While at UCLA he got the opportunity to work in the anthropology laboratories with pre-Columbian and other art. His doctoral studies however, were cut short by family concerns that required him to move back to San Diego.
Back in San Diego, Stern obtained part time teaching positions in art history at San Diego’s Mesa College. Concurrently, he became friends with Martin Petersen, long-time Curator at the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego (now the San Diego Museum of Art). The Museum hired Stern as guest curator for three shows. The first was a significant exhibition of the renowned Jules Berman Kahlúa Collection of Pre-Columbian Art. At the time, Berman was the owner of Kahlúa coffee liqueur and had collected for over thirty years. Stern catalogued the large and important collection and wrote the principal essay in the exhibition catalog. The second was a small show of Roman coins entitled Historical Implications of Ancient Roman Coins. Ancient coins had been a long-standing interest for Stern, and for this occasion he wrote and produced a small catalogue. The most important show that Stern curated, however, was the museum’s 1976 American Bicentennial show – The Cross and the Sword / La Cruz y la Espada – which Stern curated and for which he produced a bilingual catalogue. Stern was interviewed by Robert Hughes who wrote a two-page review, which appeared in the May 10, 1976 issue of TIME magazine.
In 1977, brother Louis, who at the time was manager of Wally Findlay Galleries on Rodeo Drive, informed Stern that Petersen Galleries, in Beverly Hills, had a position open for an American art specialist. Robert Petersen, a magazine publisher, collected wildlife art and western art and had opened an art gallery for those subjects, hosting lavish openings and receptions. Stern was reluctant to accept a position that would bring him back to the Los Angeles area, but after three interviews, each one with an increasingly larger salary offer, Stern took the job and moved back to Los Angeles. His first day at Petersen Galleries was February 1, 1978, and he remained with it until it closed its doors in August of 1991.
Jean had one and a half years to absorb the day-to-day details of a commercial art gallery, and soon acquired the skills of running a prominent gallery. While he spent his workdays with paintings by famous American Masters, primarily of the East Coast, he and his wife personally collected works by the nearly unknown California Impressionists.
In 1979, Petersen Galleries moved to 270 North Rodeo Drive. Late that year, the gallery was completely reorganized. The director of the gallery was removed and there were suggestions of closing the gallery. Stern, who was prepared to take charge of the business, met with Robert Petersen and encouraged him to change the gallery's focus to California art of the late 19th and early 20th century, in essence the California Impressionist Style. Reasoning that business would be much better if they dealt in fresh, historically overlooked and therefore less expensive paintings instead of obtaining secondary inventory from art dealers back east, Petersen agreed, and let Stern embark on this new and untested course.
Stern’s long-time interest had always been writing and scholarship and so, when the gallery was offered the estate of Franz Bischoff, Stern decided to go ahead and purchase the greater part of the estate up front. Each of the 170 paintings were cleaned and framed in 22k gold frames. As this took place, Stern wrote a biographical essay and produced an illustrated catalogue. The Bischoff estate was the first of a long line of artist's estates, which Petersen Galleries promoted. Artists included Sam Hyde Harris, Alson S. Clark, Christian von Schneidau and Elsie Palmer Payne. Each project was accompanied by special exhibits and bigger and better catalogues. Concurrently, Petersen’s wealth enabled Stern to acquire some outstanding individual paintings. Insisting on acquiring only the very best paintings and, with Petersen's significant resources, Stern was able to pay more than other dealers. Somewhat in jest, he says his philosophy in those heady days of the early 1980s, was “Buy high and sell higher.” As this approach works only with exceptional paintings, he avoided buying "ordinary paintings."
Through Stern’s calculated use of publications, including exhibition catalogues, magazine articles and nation-wide advertising, the appeal of California art was spread, and the gallery increased its clientele. In 1986, it moved to 332 North Rodeo Drive, into the Anderton Court Building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and owned by Robert Petersen. Petersen Galleries remained at this location until its closure in 1991.
In the gallery’s early years Stern made many important long-term contacts. De McCall, restorer and art dealer, first came on board in 1980, to clean all 70 paintings in the Sam Hyde Harris estate. Stern reckons that over the years McCall has cleaned and restored over 1,000 paintings for the gallery.
Ruth Westphal’s acquaintance was made one day when she came into Petersen Galleries to view the Bischoff show, and purchased a major, 40 x 50 in. Franz Bischoff painting. When she mentioned she was a writer, Stern suggested she might author an essay for the forthcoming Sam Hyde Harris catalog, which she did. Soon after, she decided to write her first book on California art – Plein Air Painters of California: The Southland – (published 1982.) She took advantage of the Petersen Galleries’ archives, which had over 3,000 slides and transparencies of selected California works, to select her reproductions. Stern contributed an essay on Impressionism. The rest is history, so they say. The book helped justify California art and introduce it to a national audience.
Among the important collectors that Stern started on their ways was Morton Fleischer of FFCA Corp. in Scottsdale, Arizona. He strolled into Petersen Galleries one day in the company of his partner, Paul Bagley, who had already been acquiring Sam Hyde Harris paintings. Fleischer’s avid collecting resulted, after a few years, in his book Masterpieces of California Impressionism, which accompanied an exhibition of his collection of California art at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Fleischer also created the Fleischer Museum, formerly in Scottsdale. Stern was integrally involved in all of these projects.
Jim and Linda Ries, whose collection was exhibited at the Oakland Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased their very first painting, an L.A. Harbor scene by Donna Schuster, from Petersen Galleries and remained lifelong friends with both Jean and George Stern.
In May 1985, Jean Stern played a critical role in the formation of the HCC when he offered Petersen Galleries as a meeting place for the organizers. To Stern’s recollection, the idea for the group came out of an effort to raise funds for Janet Blake Dominik’s exhibit, Early Artists in Laguna Beach: The Impressionists, at Laguna Art Museum in 1986. Robert Ehrlich, early collector and current HCC president, Stern, and a couple of other collectors wanted to raise funds that would permit a significant, fully color-illustrated catalogue. Their solution was to ask lenders to donate money to have their paintings reproduced in color. In the process they saw the benefit of creating an organization that could support California art projects, and thus the HCC was formed. (Initially the group had no affiliation, but it was soon adopted by the Laguna Art Museum.)
In August 1991, Petersen sold his vast publishing company and as a result, the art gallery was closed. For eight months Stern acted as a private dealer, calling his business Jean Stern Fine Paintings. At his office in Encino he worked tirelessly to find homes for many of the works remaining in the Petersen inventory as well as pieces from other sources.
In the late 1980s, Joan Irvine Smith had begun collecting historic California art, amassing in just a couple of years over 2,000 paintings. After having read articles on California art written by Stern, she first approached him to write a book on her collection. He suggested that the book should accompany a traveling museum exhibit of her collection, to give them added credibility. Soon thereafter, she made the decision to start her own museum. In April 1992, Stern signed on with Mrs. Smith as Executive Director of the soon-to-be Irvine Museum.
The Irvine Museum opened in January 1993. Almost immediately, it launched into an ambitious round of exhibits accompanied by catalogues, compiled and written by Stern. Mrs. Smith wanted to make the beauty of California art known to the world and realized the best way was to put together group shows of the best artists and send them on tour with catalogues. (Phase two of this, discussed below, was to publish monographs and create exhibits for individual artists.) Knowing small museums suffer budget crunches, she provided the shows free of rental fees.
To date, the Museum has mounted 14 major traveling shows. Initially limited to California venues, as word spread, shows began to circulate to East Coast museums, and in 2002, through the efforts of James Irvine Swinden, vice president of the museum, one went to three venues in Europe (Paris, Krakow and Madrid). This was the first exhibit of California art shown in Europe. The show caused quite a sensation and when over 100 journals sent representatives to the press conference at the Paris venue, it had to be broken into three sessions to handle the crowd. At the end of the day Stern was exhausted from leading all three groups of journalists on tours of the show, which he did in fluent French. In Poland he was interviewed by the press through a translator. The show opened in midwinter. The colorful landscapes and beach scenes from sunny California brought out 33,000 visitors. One of the most popular of the Museum’s traveling shows is Romance of the Bells: The California Missions in Art. Known at the Irvine Museum as “the show that won’t die” it has remained on tour for years, as it is particularly useful to schools where the study of missions is part of the 4th grade curriculum. Recently, thanks to several requests from museums on the East Coast, the Irvine Museum will reconstruct its popular show, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and send it on tour again.
Apart from creating traveling exhibits, Stern maintains rotating exhibits at the Irvine Museum itself. Lecturing has always been one of his strong suits and besides appearing at the podium at the many museums that borrowed Irvine Museum shows, he established at the Museum itself a lecture series on California art. He was also involved in the making of two PBS videos on California art -- the video on Guy Rose and the videos on Impressionism produced by Paul Bockhorst, in which Stern was interviewed. Mrs. Smith contributed crucial funding to both.
Early on, Stern and the Irvine Museum realized that the California Art Club shared its goals of promoting California artists. Through Petersen Galleries, Stern had known Peter Adams, president of the Club, and as early as 1992 he attended some of its meetings. Over the years, Stern has opened the Irvine Museum to large groups from the CAC, lectured on historic art at CAC meetings, served on its Gold Medal jury, and steered other resources to the club. In 1998, the Club voted him “Man of the Year.”
Currently Stern continues to mount changing exhibits of California art at the Irvine Museum. The Museum’s publications program has advanced to step two – the publication of monographs, most written by specialist scholars. The first book documented the life and work of Guy Rose, the second watercolorist Paul De Longpre, the third San Diego artist Albert Valentien, and the fourth Colin Campbell Cooper (in conjunction with the Laguna Art Museum). Upcoming are books on painters Joseph Kleitsch, John Frost, Arthur Beaumont (of which the Irvine Museum was given a sizeable collection by the family of the artist), and in the future, possibly Maurice Braun. (Museum exhibits will be organized to accompany these books.)
Among his newest duties for the Museum, Stern is now coordinating with the Historical Collections Council, bringing it full circle back to two of the principal organizers – himself and Bob Ehrlich. He has already gained entrance for the HCC to some excellent private collections and looks forward to collaborating on exhibits and fund raising,
Want to see programs on California art broadcast on the Internet by WGBH Forum Network out of Boston? John Hazeltine of TFAO (Traditional Fine Arts On Line) has become a WFN partner, which means he will be financially sponsoring videotaping of lectures, gallery talks and discussions that will be hosted on line by WFN. Individuals and institutions alike are solicited for ideas. Lectures on and gallery tours of artworks produced prior to 1923 are of special interest as they are in the public domain, eliminating copyright problems and releases. Please contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out his website www.tfaoi.com.
California Historical Society collaborates with Autry National Center. “In an effort to bring the vibrant history of California to a wider audience, the California Historical Society and the Autry National Center have joined forces to display in Los Angeles significant works of art and costumes by some of America’s best known nineteenth and early twentieth-century artists. More than sixty paintings by such artists as Albert Bierstadt, James Walker, and Maynard Dixon, and turn-of-the-twentieth-century costumes will be displayed in the California Historical Society Gallery of the Autry Center opening in 2008. Established in 1871, CHS collects, preserves, publishes, and exhibits materials on the history of California and the West. Its collections contain paintings, photographs, costumes, archival material, and a library of inestimable value and historic significance. …the collection-sharing agreement with the Autry will allow the strengths of each to be used. The collection will remain under the Autry purview for a period of one hundred years, during which time the Autry will be responsible for long-term conservation, curatorial activities, publications, exhibitions, educational programs, storage, and loan requests by other institutions. ‘Museums in the twenty-first century are being challenged to get their greatest art and artifacts out of storage and into public view,’ said Stephen Becker, former executive director of CHS. ‘Our partnership with the Autry extends our limited galleries in San Francisco to a magnificent new space in Los Angeles.’” (from the website)
The American Art Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is making a one-day tour to Laguna. At the Laguna Art Museum they will view East Coast/West Coast and Beyond: Colin Campbell Cooper, American Impressionist, curated by Dr. Deborah Solon. After a luncheon at Cedar Creek Inn, they will stop at the Irvine Museum for a guided tour of Peaceful Awakenings: Spring in California. Many of the Council’s day trips have centered around shows of historic California art including the October 21 outing to Santa Barbara where the Council viewed the California works in the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and were toured around the show of Monterey Peninsula artists at the Santa Barbara Museum. On November 11, 2006, the Council visited the Autry Museum to view Yosemite: Art of an American Icon.
On May 31, 2007 the Pasadena Museum of California Art celebrates its fifth anniversary with a gala reception for a major show of works by Maynard Dixon, borrowed from Brigham Young University Art Museum, and the premiere airing of a documentary film on the artist. Tickets are $250. This show will be the first time the Dixon works have been seen in California since Dixon sold them to a BYU professor in the 1940s.
Rolph Scarlett, modernist artist who was active in Pasadena c. 1930, is being marketed by Ibex Galleries, N. Y., which owns a collection of sixty of his works. No website. Tel. 212-368-4133.
Landscapist Sam Hyde Harris, whose work is currently being shown at the Pasadena Museum of History, is being marketed by Maurine St. Gaudens, administrator of the estate. For images, see www.samhydeharrisestatepaintings.com. Tel is 626-792-0865 and email is email@example.com.
Mary Hamilton, former Executive Director of The Fieldstone Foundation, retired in mid 2006 to Sun River, Oregon. Congratulations to Mary and best wishes for a happy retirement.
Bingham Gallery has moved to the Maynard Dixon property at 2200 South State Street, Mt. Carmel, Utah 84755. The gallery displays work by both historic and contemporary plein air artists. Among the historic artists it handles are Carl Oscar Borg and Don Louis Perceval, whose estate it owns. Other names are Maynard Dixon, Milford Zornes, and Xavier Martinez.
North Point Gallery, San Francisco has issued Discoveries in California Paintings VI: New Acquisitions, Winter 2007. The 5-fold brochure reproduces 12 paintings in color including works by John A. Stanton, Henry J. Breuer, Edwin Deakin, Chris Jorgensen, Theodore Wores, Thomas Hill, Thad Welch, Fortunato Arriola, Lemuel Wiles, and William Marple.
Actress Diane Keaton has long been known as a collector of California’s Monterey furniture, ceramics, and paintings. How she incorporated these into a Spanish-style house in Bel-Air that she recently remodeled is the subject of an “article” on www.architecturaldigest.com. In the color photos of the interior appear paintings by Edgar Payne, Maynard Dixon and others.
The Plein Air Art Council of the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana has changed its name to the California Arts Council. The new name, it feels, better reflects the Council’s support of the various paintings and other items in the Museum’s California collection. The Council’s mission remains the same, however, to support the Museum’s painting collection through conservation, acquisition and exhibition and to sponsor lectures, events and field trips for the education of its members and the community at large. The council is holding its Annual Dinner Meeting on Sunday March 4, 2007 at the Bowers Museum. Guest speaker will be Dan Jacobs, art consultant/fine art appraiser, who will speak on “The Life and Art of Frank Coburn”.
The California State History Museum in Sacramento has changed its name to the California Museum for History, Women and the Arts. Exhibits and galleries are being revamped. For further information see www.californiamuseum.org.
The Melton Art Reference Library in Oklahoma City is seeking information on “Oklahoma artist” Lee Mullican. Mullican (1919-1998) became a “California” artist after World War II. He was a modernist, who initially settled in San Francisco but lived most of his life in Los Angeles.
American Eagle Fine Art is sending out emails reproducing works by Albert DeRome, Charles Fries, Paul Grimm, Josephine Culbertson, Nell Walker Warner and John Haley. Other examples of their stock can be viewed at www.americaneaglefineart.com.
Garzoli Gallery, San Rafael, has issued a 3-fold brochure titled “Fine American Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries”. On the cover is reproduced Herman Herzog’s “Canal in Venice.” Reproduced in color inside are works by California artists John M. Gamble, Alson Skinner Clark, Frederick A. Butman, Grace Carpenter Hudson, Virgil Williams, Raymond Dabb Yelland, and Edward Bruce.
Marguerite Zorach, who was born in Fresno but spent most of her artistic career on the East Coast, is represented by Gerald Peters Gallery, that has the estate.
William A. Karges Fine Art has issued a couple of “Recent Acquisitions” brochures, each 24 pages. On the cover of one is Granville Redmond’s Moonlit Pond. On the other is Guy Rose’s La Jolla Caves. Inside each are many reproductions of fine California paintings.
Edith Heath, pioneer of California’s Mid-century pottery movement, passed away in Tiburon on December 27, 2005. Born in Iowa to parents of Danish background, she grew up on a farm during the Depression. After study at the Chicago Teacher’s College, she attended the San Francisco Art Institute where she made her first foray into ceramics. In a year-long ceramic chemistry course she developed new glaze formulations. She went on to develop her own clays from local clay pits. Coated with her glazes she achieved a distinctive speckle pattern, which became her hallmark. Heath Ceramics was established in 1948 in Sausalito. Her dinnerware was picked up by several prestigious department stores and is used by the legendary Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. Her architectural tiles were used by such significant architects as Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard, William Pereira, and Skidmore Owens and Merrill. They were used on the exterior of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and the Yerba Buena Center.
Permanent displays of historic (pre-1945) California paintings can be found at the following institutions. (The websites for some of these institutions can be found at www.californiaart.com at the end of the ‘Galleries’ section.) Arranged North to South.
(See earlier Newsletters for exhibits that might still be on view.)
February 16, 17, and 18, 2007. Ornament is a Crime: Architectural Pottery, presented by Museum of California Design at the Palm Springs Modernism 2007 show at the Palm Springs Convention Center. 22 Modernist works by the firm Architectural Pottery. Architectural Pottery was founded in Los Angeles in 1950 by Max and Rita Lawrence, et al, to produce ceramic planters and sand jars along the lines of those first designed by certain artists at the California School of Art in Hollywood. The exhibit’s title comes from the Modernist dictum that “design should include only those elements essential to the structural composition of an object or a building.”
Through March 10, 2007 (opened January 13). Leonard Edmondson: Exploration of Abstraction, Tobey C. Moss Gallery, L. A. Edmondson was a pioneer in color printmaking.
Through May 29, 2007. Belle Baranceanu: The Artist at Work, San Diego Historical Society. Born in Chicago, Baranceanu moved to San Diego in the 1930s where she produced several large-scale murals and book illustrations for the WPA. Much of Baranceanu’s work was left to the Historical Society, and this exhibit includes many items that have never been on display before.
Through September 2007. Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience during World War II, California Museum, Sacramento. This year’s annual exhibit of the Japanese American experience has been expanded to include original art, furniture and crafts made in the internment camps.
Through June 2008. Treasures from a Trunk: California Pioneers’ Quilts and Textiles, California Museum, Sacramento. For centuries, women, discouraged from traditional forms of artwork, expressed their creativity through textiles. For women in the 1800’s a quilt could be like a diary. Included in this exhibit are: a baby coverlet made by Tamsen Donner (who perished in 1847 en route to California with the Donner Party), a catalogue of stitches – a sampler of diverse skills; a “best” quilt, Blazing Star variation, quilted petticoats, etc.
November 17 – December 10, 2006. Milford Zornes & Bill Anderson: Local and Regional Images, www.ci.ontario.ca.us.
January 4 – February 24, 2007. Icons of American Impressionism, Edenhurst Gallery, Palm Desert. Included are works by Guy Rose, William Wendt, Edgar Payne, Granville Redmond, Maurice Braun, Alson Clark and John Frost.
January 18 – April 29, 2007. Images of Monterey, 1875-1907, Monterey Museum of Art. Photographs of the Monterey Peninsula covering the same period as the paintings in the concurrent show, Artists at Continent’s End.
January 20 – March 25, 2007. Dreamland: American Explorations into Surrealism, Sullivan-Goss: An American Gallery, Santa Barbara. Over 100 paintings and sculptures dating from the 1920s to the present. Among the historic artists are Herbert Bayer, Man Ray, Howard Warshaw, Richard Haines, and Eugene Berman. A 24-page catalogue with 23 color reproductions accompanies the show. See also the website at www.sullivangoss.com.
January 20 – April 15, 2007. The Complexity of Simplicity: Edith Heath and Heath Ceramics, Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, Ca. Edith Kiertzner Heath (1911-2005), a mid-century Modernist, was a dedicated studio potter, gifted form-giver, and the owner of one of the few remaining American potteries. Heathware was prized for its clean, simple shapes, understated elegance and attention to clay and glaze ingredients. Her ware reflected a more relaxed, post-war American lifestyle, especially in California where indoor/outdoor living was taking root.
January 20 – April 15, 2007. Marguerite Wildenhain: Bauhaus to Pond Farm: Selections from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, Ca. Fleeing Europe, Wildenhain moved to Guerneville in 1942 where she helped establish Pond Farm, an artist community in a scenic rural setting. Bringing with her Bauhaus School at Weimar training, she created pottery and taught summer workshops for over twenty-seven years. Most of the artworks come from three private collections in northern California. The exhibit was developed in collaboration with the Sebastopol Center for the Arts on the occasion of the exhibition Beyond Pond Farm: The Legacy of Marguerite Wildenhain. A 48-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
January 20 – May 12, 2007. Peaceful Awakening: Spring in California, Irvine Museum. For most early California landscapists, the rains that arrived between December and May brought out the best in California. Formerly dry hills turned green, gullies ran with water, and wildflowers burst out in color. Among the artists who captured these vistas, the Irvine Museum displays work by John Gamble, known for his fields of poppies and lupines, Paul Grimm, who depicted flowering desert verbena, Anna Hills, Edgar Payne and others.
January 23 – April 8, 2007. Art and Activism in the Twentieth Century: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Pomona College Museum of Art.
January 24 – June 29, 2007. Continental Drift: California Painting, 1918-1939, Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco. A survey of oil paintings and watercolors between World War I and II. Included are works by Maynard Dixon, Percy Gray, Armin Hansen, Lorenzo Latimer, Granville Redmond, Selden Gile and Louis Siegriest, among others. All come from the collections of the Society.
January 27 – April 14, 2007. Portraits and Equivalents: A Tribute to Herbert Quick, California Museum of Photography, University of California, Riverside. “When Herbert Quick passed away this October he left UCR/CMP not only his life’s archive of prints, but a remarkable set of thirty-seven 3-ring binders which preserve in carefully numbered chronological order, contact prints of the photographs he considered of greatest significance.” (from the website) This exhibition compares these prints to uncover alternative readings of Quick’s photographs. Born in Michigan, Quick was in L. A. by 1946 to attend Art Center School. Most of his photographic career was spent in Riverside, California where he owned and operated a camera shop, served as staff photographer for UCR, and gave many lectures on photography to local institutions of higher learning. He died in 2006.
February and March 2007. Colin Campbell Cooper (1856-1937): A Collection of European Landscapes and Figurative Works, De Ru’s Fine Arts, Laguna Beach.
February 3 – June 17, 2007. Image + Imagining California, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach. The second in an ongoing series of collection installations, this grouping explores key developments in modern and contemporary art. It focuses on how artists represent both the landscape and built environment of California, from early 20th century plein air paintings to contemporary sculpture, photography and video art. Visions vary from the naturalistic and documentary to abstract, fantastic, surreal, and perceptual. Whether imagining or imagining, California artists have captured many of the aspects of a complex and constantly changing state. The first gallery, California Modernism, 1910-1950s, organized by decades, provides an introduction by displaying examples of California Impressionism, early experiments in abstraction, Depression-era photographs, and Bay Area Figurative painting. In the other galleries are works made since the 1960s displayed thematically: the Built Environment; Light, Space and Technology; California Domestic; and Simulated Landscapes.
February 8 – March 30, 2007. Early Desert Painters, Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts, College of the Desert, Palm Desert, organized by Edenhurst Galleries. 56 paintings of the desert between Palm Springs and the Mexican border with some images of Arizona and New Mexico. Between 1909 and 1945 most of Southern California’s landscape painters attempted a desert landscape. Some artists eventually settled in the desert and took up the subject full time. Included in this exhibition are works by Paul Grimm, John Hilton, Edgar Payne, Fernand Lungren, Charles Fries, Alson Clark, Marion Wachtel, Maynard Dixon, John Gamble, Gordon Coutts and others.
February 10 – April 22, 2007. Romance of the Bells: The California Missions in Art, Grace Hudson Museum, Ukiah. 59 oil paintings, etchings, and watercolors depicting the 21 California missions built by the Spaniards between 1769 and 1823. Travels from the Irvine Museum.
February 10 – April 29, 2007, 12 – 4 p.m. Having a Wonderful Time – How Postcards Played a Role in the Development of Southern California, Heritage Square, Los Angeles. Rare and Unique vintage postcards whose images showed a city ripe with possibilities. A new creation at the turn of the twentieth century, such cards advertised California to their recipients in the Midwest and East. Looked at retrospectively, they show how the city of Los Angeles has changed over time.
February 18 – May 13, 2007. Ansel Adams: Classic Images, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana. 75 images chosen by Adams as the finest examples of his photography and named by him “The Museum Set”. Created during his later years, the prints show what the artist referred to as, “maximum impact.” They are stronger in contrast, much larger, and more technically perfected. According to Adams, “The more recent prints are less timid.” He goes on to say that his earlier works are “softer, some think more subtle. I have sharply different vision now. The results are, perhaps, more dramatic.” Classic Images includes several views of Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, images of the Pacific Coast, the Southwest, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Northwest.
February 25 – June 3, 2007. East Coast/West Coast and Beyond: Colin Campbell Cooper: An American Impressionist, Laguna Art Museum. Cooper’s career is defined by two periods: his education and maturity as an East Coast artist and his relocation, in later years, to the West Coast. Cooper visited Southern California in 1916, spending a month in San Diego. He relocated to the state in 1921, eventually becoming dean of painting at the Santa Barbara Community School of Arts. Unique among early California artists, architecture fascinated him, particularly the dominant Spanish and Mexican influence, but he was also inspired by the variety of Western flora, especially the lush gardens overflowing with unique species of plants. The show is accompanied by a major catalogue authored by Dr. William Gerdts and Dr. Deborah Solon, published by Hudson Hills Press, New York.
March 3, 2007 – January 28, 2008. Peanuts Lives: A Tribute, Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa, Ca. Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, this exhibition examines the enduring influence of Schulz and his Peanuts characters on cartooning and popular culture. Two installations of fifty editorial cartoons and comic strips each.
March 3 – July 4, 2007. Translucent Visions: Frederic Whitaker & Eileen Monaghan Whitaker: A Retrospective in Watercolor, California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Curated by D. Scott Atkinson, the exhibition uses 130 watercolors to examine the variety of subject matter explored by the husband-wife team. This ranges from landscapes and cityscapes, to animal studies, figurative genre, floral still lifes and scenes of Mexico. Accompanying is a small exhibit, Personal Connections, comprising a selection of photographs of the Whitakers accompanied by explanatory text.
March 4, 2007. Fenyes Mansion Art Tours, Pasadena Historical Society. Special art tours, the first Sunday of each month at 12:15 p.m. This 90-minute docent-guided tour features over 100 works by such artists as Benjamin Brown, Granville Redmond, Richard Miller, Carl Oscar Borg, Elmer Wachtel and William Keith. Artwork is hung on silk damask walls and surrounded by art objects and antique furniture gathered by Dr. and Mrs. Adalbert Fenyes from their travels around the world. (from the website) Reservations 626-577-1660.
March 9, 2007. Art Night, Pasadena, 6 – 10 p.m. 14 artistic venues in Pasadena will be open, with free shuttles plying between them. Many of the exhibits are modern and contemporary, but in the interest line of the HCC is the show of Sam Hyde Harris at the Pasadena Museum of History and the exhibit of California Watercolors at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Some venues have live music.
March 10 – May 27, 2007. The Sculpture of Ruth Asawa: Contours in the Air, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles. Derived from the Works of Ruth Asawa organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, this show contains over 50 years of Asawa’s production using non-traditional materials that challenged the conventions of sculpture. Born on a truck farm in Southern California, Asawa, along with her family, spent World War II in the Rohwer internment camp in Arkansas. In the 1940s she attended Black Mountain College, the famous experimental art school in North Carolina. Much of her work uses looped wire that appears to be knitted or woven. (From the website)
March 22 – April 28, 2007. California: Impressionism to Modernism, Edenhurst Gallery, Palm Desert, Ca. Landscape paintings by many of California’s best-known Impressionists as well as modernist works by Warren Newcombe, Helen Lundeberg, Hans Burkhardt and Claire Falkenstein.
March 30 – May 27, 2007. California Style: Art and Fashion of the California Historical Society, Autry National Center, Griffith Park, L. A. In an effort to bring the vibrant history of California to a wider audience, the California Historical Society and the Autry National Center have joined forces to display in Los Angeles significant works of art and costumes by some of America’s most prestigious 19th- and early 20th-century artists. More than 60 paintings by such artists as Albert Bierstadt, James Walker and Maynard Dixon and turn-of-the-19th century costumes will be conserved and displayed in its very own California Historical Society Gallery. (From the website)
April 1 – May 28, 2007. Ansel Adams: The Man Who Captured the Earth’s Beauty, Fennimore Museum, Cooperstown, New York. California photographer.
April 7, 2007 – January 2008. Ansel Adams over Time: Recent Photographic Acquisitions, Santa Barbara Museum of Art. This exhibition ranges from early, delicate prints of the 1920s, to Adams’ elegant, widely recognized images of the Grand Tetons and the Sierra Nevadas originally made in the 1940s, to a heroic mural-size photograph of ranchland in Petaluma from the early 1950s. Adams once said, “A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into.” But this intimate exhibition encourages its audience to carefully look into each of the photographs and to evaluate Adams’ changing vision over the course of his eighty-two years. (from the museum’s website)
April 11 - September 23, 2007. Treasures of the West: Art from Desert Collections, Palm Springs Art Museum. Paintings, sculptures, photographs, works on paper, basketry, textiles and jewelry. Some works are loaned by private collector residents of the Coachella Valley while others belong to the Palm Springs Art Museum. Works show the changing perceptions of the West over the past 100 years. Artists include Native and non-Native Americans, both historic and contemporary.
April 21 – September 23, 2007. The Eyes: Mirrors of the Soul: Portraits by Marion Pike, Palm Springs Art Museum. Pike is known for her floral still lifes and portraits. Her first portraits, executed in the 1930s and 1940s, belonged to the American Realist tradition. In the early 1950s, she experimented with various contemporary styles and approaches including “drip painting” on canvas laid on the floor. Unlike Jackson Pollock, who used this technique extensively, her result was not abstraction, but always a human face. Going against the trends in contemporary painting at that time and following Rembrandt’s example, Pike believed that “portraiture (means) neither idealization nor the rendering of the expression but instead, it strikes deeper to the soul.” Some of Pike’s portraits were as large as 8 x 5 feet. She called these “Big Heads”. Among her sitters were Andre Malraux, Norton Simon, Rosalind Russell, Alberto Giacometti, Bob and Dolores Hope, Arthur Rubinstein and Zubin Mehta.
April 28 – July 29, 2007. Gustave Baumann, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Mass. Printmaker active for a short time in California.
May 3 – June 30, 2007. Conrad Buff, Edenhurst Gallery, Palm Desert, Ca.
May 19 – August 26, 2007. Yosemite: Art of an American Icon, Oakland Museum. Yosemite’s changing image and impact as a cultural phenomenon through the eyes of artists. From Native basket weavers to landscape greats Thomas Hill and William Keith, to contemporary artists and photographers, Yosemite’s 300-year transition from remote haven to national destination is captured in more than 150 artworks. Travels from the Autry National Center in L. A.
May 20, 2007. Annual Museums of the Arroyo Day, Arroyo Seco, L. A. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Several museums are located in the Arroyo Seco, including Heritage Square (a collection of historic houses), the Southwest Museum, the Lummis House, etc. Family-friendly activities at the Pasadena Museum of History, for example, include quilting demonstrations, self-guided tours of the 100-year old Fenyes Mansion where numerous early California paintings are hung. Some venues are free while others ask a nominal fee. For details, see www.museumsofthearroyo.com.
May 31 - ?, 2007. Maynard Dixon, Pasadena Museum of California Art. Forty-seven paintings and six drawings belonging to Brigham Young University Art Museum. First time this body of work has been exhibited in California since Dixon sold the pieces to a BYU professor in the 1940s.
The following antiquarian book dealers have substantial holdings of out-of-print books on California art: Arcana on the Santa Monica Mall (310-458-1499), Ken Starosciak in San Francisco (415-346-0650), and Muz Art and Books, Sacramento (no telephone; searchable on www.abebooks.com). If you know a title, it can be searched on www.abebooks.com or www.bibliofind.com to get comparative prices from dealers across the nation.
Among dealers in new books on California art are the antiquarian dealers cited above, the bookstores of museums that specialize in California art (see list above under ‘Exhibitions’) as well as John Moran Auctioneer in Pasadena, Kerwin Galleries in Burlingame, George Stern Fine Arts in LA, Sullivan-Goss in Santa Barbara, and DeRu’s Fine Arts in Bellflower and Laguna Beach.
Ken Starosciak has issued a new booklist – Art: Calif & American. Item 423 is a set of 50 color slides of California Depression-era murals produced by DeSaisset Art Gallery in conjunction with their show New Deal Art, California in 1976. $170.
Amos Klausner, Heath Ceramics: The Complexity of Simplicity, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2006. 192 pp., 153 illus.
Julie Ault, Come Alive! The Spirited Art of Sister Corita, Four Corners Press, UK.
Painters of the Desert: The Arid West, Wildling Art Museum, Los Olivos, Ca., 2007. 14-page catalogue with 19 color illustrations, produced to accompany the exhibit of the same title.
Desert America: Territory of Paradox, Barcelona: Actar, 2006. 320 pp. 262 illus. Post-1945 architecture in the Western U. S.
J. Brooks Joyner, Legends of the West: The Foxley Collection, Omaha, NE: Joslyn Art Museum, 2006. 84 pp. 69 illus.
Amy M. Davis, Good Girls and Wicked Witches: Changing Representations of Women in Disney’s Feature Animation, 1937-2001, Eastleigh: John Libbey Publishing, 2006. 256 pp. 20 illus.
Amy Scott, Yosemite: Art of an American Icon, Los Angeles: Autry National Center, 2006. 232 pp., 190 illus.
PUBLICATIONS IN [SOUTHERN] CALIFORNIA ART – 8, 9, 10 – JUST OFF THE PRESS
No. 8 Index to Articles on California Art and Artists found in Newspapers published in Laguna Beach (c. 1920-1945), Hollywood (c. 1911-1936) and Pasadena (c. 1900-1940), with index, by Nancy Dustin Wall Moure, Los Angeles: Dustin Publications, 2006. 736 pps.
All new references to hundreds of previously undocumented artists, along with chronologies and histories of art in Laguna Beach, Hollywood, and Pasadena.
No. 9 Historical Collections Council Newsletters, January 1999-May 2006, edited by Nancy Dustin Wall Moure, and Miscellaneous Articles, with index, by Nancy Dustin Wall Moure, Los Angeles: Dustin Publications, 2006. 740 pps.
A record of exhibitions, books, lectures, etc. pertaining to historic California art that took place in the past seven years. A history of art in Eagle Rock, miscellaneous bibliographies, and biographies of many individuals active in the world of historic California art before 1980.
No. 10 A Dictionary of Art and Artists of Nineteenth Century Fresno, by Ralph J. Gorny, (originally Privately Published, 1998) and Master Index to PSCA vols. 1-10 by Nancy Dustin Wall Moure, Los Angeles: Dustin Publications, 2006. 579 pps.
Hardcover only. 150 copies each. Sold as a set of three for $200.00 plus shipping and tax. Contact Dustin Publications at 818-242-7000 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Maurine Saint Gaudens and Marion Yoshiki-Kovinick, “The Art of Sam Hyde Harris (1889-1977),” American Art Review, v. XVIX, No. 1, January-February 2007, pp. 124-131.
“Out of the Ashes: How Frederick Meyer’s Bold Vision was Born,” by Robert W. Edwards, Centennial Issue of glance, published by the California College of the Arts, v. 15, no. 1, Winter 2007, pp. 6-19. This discusses the early history of Oakland’s California College of the Arts, which was founded in 1906, following San Francisco’s famous earthquake and fire. Many photos. Other articles in the journal cover art after 1945 including “Inspired by the Times: Voices of the Sixties and Seventies” which discusses Bay Area artists of that revolutionary period, and “Bigger than the Bauhaus”, which describes the college’s addition of a San Francisco campus in 1993.
Sheryl Nonnenberg, “Diamonds by the Sea: A California Collection,” Fine Art Connoisseur, January/February 2007, pp. 62-69. This article discusses the collection of Steve and Suzanne Diamond and reproduces works by A. G. Rider, Franz A. Bischoff, Guy Rose, E. C. Fortune, A. C. Hansen, Edgar Payne, W. Wendt, J. Mannheim, and Charles Reiffel.
Art ltd. West Coast Art + Design, is a relatively new magazine that deals primarily with contemporary art. The January 2007 issue, which coincided with the L. A. Art Show, ran articles on the California Bay Area sculptor Manuel Neri, ten L. A. photographers, Saul Bass (who worked as an artist with the film studios), and L. A. mid-century architecture.
“Gottardo Piazzoni’s Murals,” by Nancy Boas, Special issue of the DeYoung Museum’s Fine Arts magazine celebrating the opening of the new museum, 2005. These murals were installed in the new museum. Other articles in the magazine focus on Ruth Asawa, Ed Ruscha and others.
February 2, 2007, 7 p.m. Maynard Dixon: To the Desert Again, documentary film produced by Nancy Green for KUED-TV at the University of Utah, will be shown at the Wildling Art Museum in Los Olivos. The 57-minute film profiles the life and art of Maynard Dixon, one of the most influential, yet lesser-known, western artists of the early 20th century. The producers traveled to California, New Mexico and Arizona using high-definition video to capture the play of light on the land – the colors and formations that Dixon brilliantly manipulated in his paintings. Combined with interviews, archival footage, Dixon’s own poetry and writing, the artist is brought to life.
February 10, 2007, 2 p.m. The Missions of Alta California, a lecture by Jean Stern, will be delivered at the Grace Hudson Museum, Ukiah, in conjunction with the exhibit Romance of the Bells. A reception and book signing will follow.
February 25, 2007, 3 p.m. The Octagon Movement: A Modern Way of Living, by Dr. Robert Winter, architectural historian, will be presented at Heritage Square, L. A. Reservations 323-225-2700.
March 3, 2007, 2-5 p.m. 76 Years: A Panel Discussion on the State of Photography from 1930 to 2006, California Museum of Photography, University of California, Riverside. Moderated by Jonathan Green, Director of UCR/CMP, the panel discussion will focus on the changes that occurred in photography and Herb Quick’s place in the movement.
March 4, 2007, 5-8 p.m. The Life and Art of Frank Coburn, is the title of a lecture by Dan Jacobs, Art Consultant/Fine Art Appraiser, at the Bowers Museum, Santa Ana.
March 13, 2007, 7:30 p.m. Painted Dreams & Corporate Visions: A New Take on the Old West, by Dr. Parme Giuntini, Director of Art History at Otis College, at the Pasadena Museum of History. Explores the long tradition of western art turned to commercial purposes as illustrated in Sam Hyde Harris’s railroad posters and other commercial art.
March 18, 2007, 1 p.m. Colin Campbell Cooper by Deborah Solon at the Laguna Art Museum. Book signing.
April 1, 2007, 12:15 p.m. Fenyes Mansion Art Tour, Pasadena Historical Society. Docent-guided tour features more than 100 paintings by some of the early masters of California including Carl Oscar Borg, Benjamin Brown, William Keith, Richard Miller, Granville Redmond and Elmer Wachtel, among others. The collection, amassed by arts patroness Eva and Dr. Adalbert Fenyes, has remained intact and is still hung on silk damask covered walls and next to art objects and antiques, just as it was displayed 80 years ago. Many works retain their original frames.
April 26, 2006, 7:30 p.m. Bertram Goodhue, His Life and Residential Architecture by Romy Wyllie at the Pasadena Historical Museum. Goodhue is best known for his master plan and buildings for the Caltech campus. In her new book, Wyllie focuses on 26 residential designs that provide insight into the evolution of Goodhue’s architecture. Book signing.
For the websites of the many ‘bricks and mortar’ auction galleries dealing with American paintings, see Publications in California Art, No. 9, newsletter for November 1999. For the most up-to-date auction prices, see www.artprice.com at $1.00 per entry or at www.artnet.com or www.askart.com if you are a member. Auction Galleries that hold special sales of historic California art include Butterfields, which can be viewed at www.bonhams.com; or www.butterfields.com/calam; Christies at www.christies.com, and John Moran at www.johnmoran.com.
The John Moran Auction of February 20, 2007 fetched some stupendous prices. The 20 x 24 in. Granville Redmond of poppies fetched $450,000 hammer price and an aerial view of Catalina by J. Duncan Gleason fetched 140,000, among others.
Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland frequently has historic California artworks for sale. For example, its February 3 and 4th auction had items by Grigory Gluckman, John Englehart, Ransome G. Holdredge, Theodore Wores, and Carl Sammons. See www.clars.com.
March 18, 2007. Special Auction, A. N. Abell, Los Angeles. Highlights include Portfolio Three: Yosemite Valley, Sixteen original photographic prints by Ansel Adams, S.F.: Sierra Club, 1960, and paintings by Jack W. Smith, Jean Mannheim, Orrin White, Percy Gray, Nell W. Warner, and N. Fechin.
April 3-4, 2007. Collector Choice Auction, Jackson’s, Cedar Falls, Iowa. Included in this sale are works by California artist Charles L. A. Smith.
April 25, 2007, 6 p.m. California, Western and American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, Christies, Beverly Hills, Ca.
May 1, 2007, 6 p.m. California and American Paintings and Sculpture, Bonhams & Butterfields, L. A. and S. F.
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