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Art Scene :: UCI Irvine Museum Collection

Donna Schuster "On the Beach" 1917 Oil

On a brisk, crisp Saturday morning my hubby and I made the trek to the UCI Irvine Museum Collection. I had been wanting to visit this remarkable museum for over a decade. Finally, our calendars coincided and the trip was made.

For readers who haven’t heard, The Irvine Museum was founded in 1993 by the philanthropist and arts patron Joan Irvine Smith. She’s the great-granddaughter of James Irvine, who established the Irvine Co. real estate and development firm. She donated her entire California Impressionist painting collection, valued at $17 million!

 

Joan Irvine Smith

 

Paintings in the collection focus on the natural landscape. Many show a still-undeveloped Orange County documenting a more quiet and natural California.

Lucky for us, the exhibit entitled “Upon a Painted Ocean” featuring works of the California Coast was on display. The palettes, techniques, and visions by these master painters, both past and present did not disappoint.

I was so excited to stand in front of paintings by my all time faves (heroes) Edgar Payne, Guy Rose, Elmer Wachtel, Granville Redmond, Louis Betts, and William Wendt. I learned of other great painters of whom I am now smitten. Selected works by notable contemporary artists such as Dennis Doheny (my husband’s fave) fit perfectly amongst the historical masterpieces.

Those of you who know my idiosyncracies when viewing artwork at museums will be glad (relieved) to know that I was indeed able to get up close and personal to these masterpieces and observe brush strokes and pigments without armed guards dashing forward reprimanding me to “stand back”. LOL

It is because of this museum’s graciousness with me that I am able to share with you close-ups of some of my top favorite works. For my students, please notice the different brush strokes and the colors in the shadows and highlights. I’ve also included vignettes of the artists’ signatures. Would you please let me know what you think in the comment section below the blog? Thanks, and enjoy!

 


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Friends and family know I’m a sucker for beautiful poetry. I was so delighted to find two postings of poems about the sea at the exhibit. I’m pleased to share some of my favorite lines with you:

“I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted fresh and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought.” ~ Helen Keller

“For whatever we lose, it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.” ~ E. E. Cummings

“How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.” ~ Arthur C. Clarke

Last but not least, the bookstore was beyond fabulous. What an amazing collection of books dedicated to California Impressionism and its painters of light. Of course, I indulged in a new book for my students. Can’t wait to show it to them! They also have beautiful postcards and boxed cards along with magnets, notepads and other fun gift ideas featuring beautiful works by the artists whose works they represent.

I hope I’ve enticed you to visit the exhibit in person. The exhibition continues through March 30, 2019.
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9 Comments

  1. Phyllis Pelteson

    A fantastic assortment of beautiful art work. I especially like the remark that we should call us ocean instead of earth. I did not know of this museum, even tho I lived in Tustin, many years ago (near Irvine). Well described and very enjoyable.

  2. Keith Kelman

    Linda,
    I’d like to extend an invitation to you to visit our gallery in La Jolla, K. Nathan Gallery. We currently have a paintings in our inventories that rival the finest known works by such artists as Elmer Wachtel, Arthur Grover Rider, Alfred Mitchell and Granville Redmond. Love to meet you and tell you about some of our exciting projects.

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