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Donna Schuster, “O’er Waiting Harp Strings,” oil on canvas, 1922, 30 x 30 in., Laguna Art Museum Collection, Gift of Catherine Jackson

This coming Sunday, Laguna Art Museum will open the exhibition “Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918–1935.” The opening of the exhibition will be the premiere event in a year-long celebration marking the museum’s 100-year history and legacy.

Fine art oil paintings - FineArtConnoisseur.com
Mabel Alvarez, “In the Garden,” c. 1922, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in., Laguna Art Museum Collection

From the museum:

In the summer of 1918, a group of artists led by Anna Hills and Edgar Payne opened their first exhibition in a temporary pavilion and formed the Laguna Beach Art Association (LBAA). Ten years later, they led a successful effort to build a custom-designed and permanent gallery, which opened in 1929 and survives within the present museum building. The founding of the LBAA is the beginning of the story of Laguna Art Museum, and the story of Laguna Beach, the art colony.

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Joseph Kleitsch, “The Drug Store,” oil on canvas, c. 1925, 40 x 40 in., Private collection

Art associations were a phenomenon of the late nineteenth century, but no two were alike. The Laguna Beach Art Association was a pioneering organization whose inception helped determine the fortunes of the Laguna Beach art colony and its artists. It grew from a relatively small organization to one that included hundreds of members in and beyond Laguna Beach. It was devoted to promoting art in Southern California, and it also traveled exhibitions to cities outside California and championed arts education in schools.

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Edgar Payne, “Eternal Surge,” oil on canvas, c. 1921, 30 x 40 in., Laguna Art Museum Collection

The LBAA charted its own course, and its development and struggles reflected artistic and economic issues that confronted other art colonies in the early twentieth century. Its members included Laguna Beach luminaries — those artists who exhibited nationally and internationally — as well as many whose reputations never extended far beyond the city. “Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918–1935” will be the first large-scale critical study to focus exclusively on the art association’s growth and development, honoring the early artists who influenced the fabric of the developing community and surveying its evolution through the 1930s.

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Anna Skeele, “Rancho Church, New Mexico,” oil on canvas, c. 1930, 20 x 27 in., Laguna Art Museum Collection

“Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918–1935” comprises more than 100 paintings by 66 artists, including a number of works by major artists that were seen in the original exhibitions of the Laguna Beach Art Association. The exhibition will be on view through January 13, 2019. For more information, please visit lagunaartmuseum.org.


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