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


Guy Rose (1867 - 1925)

Point Lobos, c. 1918, oil on canvas, 24 x 29 inches

Courtesy of the Irvine Museum, Irvine California


A distinct artistic style combining aspects of European and American Impressionism developed in California at the beginning of the twentieth century. Responding to the abundant light of that Western state, this style is called California Impressionism or California Plein Air painting, from the French for "in the open air." All Things Bright and Beautiful features masterworks by such leading artists in the field as Franz Bischoff; Alson Clark; Colin Campbell Cooper, NA; Armin Carl Hansen, NA; Granville Redmond, Guy Rose; William Wendt, ANA; and Theodore Wores.

A leading authority in the field of American Impressionism, art historian Dr. William H. Gerdts has selected the works for the exhibition, which is coordinated for the Academy by its Chief Curator, Dr. David Dearinger. This exhibition is funded with the generous support of Paul Bagley and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Stiles, with additional support from The San Francisco Foundation and The Irvine Museum.



San Francisco quickly became the state's first cultural center, with waves of artists arriving from the beginning of the gold rush in 1849. An active art press developed alongside the galleries and studios of professional artists. In 1871 the San Francisco Art Association was founded to provide regular exhibitions of art, followed by the California School of Design, the first academy of art in the west.

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Editor's note: RL readers may also enjoy an image of Point Lobos from the TFAO photo library.

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