Highlighting important works of art from the Museum’s collection depicting scenery from California beaches, mountains, and deserts, as well as local artists’ depictions of other locations, Of Sea and Sand: California Paintings invites viewers to consider the beautiful views that surround us. These California paintings, featuring loose brushwork and attention to changing light, convey a moment in time while paradoxically also evoking a feeling of timelessness with images of an enduring yet ever-changing landscape.

The remarkable geography of California has been a continual source of inspiration for artists, many of whom worked in an impressionistic or post-impressionistic style. These movements originated in Paris in the late 19th century to early 20th century, and also in the southern French regions of Provence and the Côte d’Azur on the Mediterranean, with warmer climates and stronger light, and where the topography, including pines and cliffs overlooking the sea, is remarkably similar to that of Southern California.

Some of the locations may be familiar, and all invite us to question and explore our own relationship to nature and our surrounding environment.

The works on view will rotate from time to time to feature different works and artists.


Read the Of Sea and Sand: California Paintings full exhibition label text in English and Spanish.