Laguna Art Museum’s collection consists of over 3,500 works from the early nineteenth century to the present day, with significant examples from all periods of California art. It is some time since the highlights of Laguna Art Museum’s own collection of California art have all been displayed together in the main-level galleries. On show this fall is a selection curated by the museum’s Executive Director, Dr. Malcolm Warner. Among the most familiar images are paintings by members of the artists’ colony that flourished in Laguna Beach in the early years of the twentieth century, notably The Old Post Office by Joseph Kleitsch (detailed above); Eternal Surge by Edgar Payne; The Golden Hour, Laguna Beach by Frank Cuprien; Spring in the Canyon by William Wendt; and Laguna Beach by Clarence Hinkle. Later developments are represented by outstanding paintings and sculptures by Francis de Erdely, Hans Burckhardt, John McLaughlin, Lorser Feitelson, John Altoon, Billy Al Bengston, Craig Kauffman, DeWain Valentine, John McCracken, Roger Kuntz, Ed Kienholz, and Llyn Foulkes. The display also features some privately-owned masterpieces of California art that appear as “special guests” among the museum’s own holdings, along with some museum pieces that have been recently acquired or restored.
“I’m still relatively new to the museum, and taking the lead in selecting this show is a wonderful way for me to get to know the collection. Hopefully I can bring a fresh eye to the process and bring out some unexpected gems as well as the familiar favorites.” ~ Dr. Malcolm Warner