A New Exhibition at Gilcrease -- "California Impressionism: Selections from The Irvine Museum"

May 1, 2015

On this installment of ST, we learn about a gorgeous new show at the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa; "California Impressionism: Selections from The Irvine Museum" opens on Sunday (the 3rd) and runs through September 6th. Our guest is the curator for this traveling exhibition, Jean Stern, who is the founding executive director of The Irvine Museum (in Irvine, CA). Stern tells us about this vast and vivid collection of art works, and about the origins and trends of West Coast-based Impressionist painting within art history more generally. And further, as noted of this exhibit at the Gilcrease website: "In the early years of the 20th century, California produced a unique artistic style which combined several distinctive aspects of American and European art. This style, often called California Impressionism or California Plein Air painting, concerned itself with light and color. As a variant of the American Impressionist style, it focused directly on the abundant California light. Here, the land became the principal subject of this style, and it was represented as clean and unspoiled, with vigor and grandeur. The sun shone its light on the land and gave it color: greens of spring, browns of late summer and fall, and everywhere, the deep blue mantle of the sky. In California, landscape painting was by far the most popular subject among its myriad painters. Where the French Impressionists yearned to capture the immediate moment, or the temporal fragment of societal activity, California's Impressionists sought to catch the fleeting moment of specific natural light as it bathed the landscape. The clear and intense light of California, which appears so often in these paintings, defined the landscape...." Also on today's show, we keep things "outdoors" for a bit longer as commentator Janet Pearson voices both praise and appreciation for America's public parks -- from our neighborhood park spaces to our vast national park systems.