The Irvine Museum18881 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92612
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- Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 5 PM.
- closed November 26 and 27 for Thanksgiving, December 24 and 25 for Christmas as well as January 1, New Year's Day.
- Every Thursday at 11:15am, The Irvine Museum has a docent available to present an informative tour of the current exhibition. The tour is free and lasts about 20-30 minutes. No reservations required.
- Educational field trips and docent guided tours may be arranged by calling our Curator of Education, Dora James at (949) 476-0294.
Welcome to the Irvine Museum
Dedicated to the preservation and display of California art of the Impressionist Period (1890-1930), The Irvine Museum is embracing a principal role in the education and furtherance of this beautiful and important regional variant of American Impressionism that has come to be associated with California and its remarkable landscape. The Irvine Museum invites you to share this experience and to enjoy the splendor and power of art as it relates directly to our beloved California.
Much of what originally made California a “Golden Land” was directly linked to the environment, especially the land and water that nurtured and sustained a rare quality of life. Over a hundred years ago, the splendor of nature fascinated artists and compelled them to paint beautiful paintings. As we view these rare and remarkable paintings, we are returned, all too briefly, to a time long ago when the land and its bounty were open and almost limitless. Today, with the renaissance of the glorification of nature in art, that spirit is motivating enlightened people in the same way it energized artists of the past. The common bond is the deep reverence for nature and the common goal is to preserve our environment, and no statement is more eloquent than the silent testament of these magnificent paintings. Each generation, in its turn, is the steward of the land, water and air. Our time is now. I sincerely hope that the message this museum imparts will inspire us all to action in this most pressing obligation.
Joan Irvine Smith
INFORMATION ON THE IRVINE MUSEUM
- The Irvine Museum was founded in 1992 by Joan Irvine Smith and her mother, the late Athalie R. Clarke (1903-1993). Our first exhibition opened on January 15, 1993. The museum is located in the city of Irvine, in central Orange County, and hosts more than 30,000 visitors per year. Our web address is www.irvinemuseum.org
- It is the only museum in California dedicated to the preservation and display of California Impressionism or Plein-Air paintings, an art style that flourished in California from 1890 to 1930.
- The paintings from this beautiful and important regional variant of American Impressionism are principally landscapes that document the splendor of California as it was before huge population growth and mass urbanization.
- New exhibitions are installed every four months and the bookstore is a rich source of books, catalogues and note cards that feature paintings of this style.
- In our first decade, The Irvine Museum organized 34 exhibitions, 14 of which traveled to one or more venues, and published 12 books in conjunction with various exhibitions.
- SELECTIONS FROM THE IRVINE MUSEUM (1992) with exhibition book; traveled to the Fleischer Museum, Scottsdale, the Oakland Museum, and The Irvine Museum.
- REFLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA (1994) with exhibition book, traveled to Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace, the Jimmy Carter Library, the Palm Springs Museum, and The Irvine Museum.
- ROMANCE OF THE BELLS, THE CALIFORNIA MISSIONS IN ART (1994) with exhibition book; The Mission San Juan Capistrano, the Mission San Luis Rey, Santa Barbara Historical Society Museum, Bakersfield Museum of Art, Monterey Museum of Art, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Riverside Museum of Art, University of San Diego Museum, Redding Museum of Art, and The Irvine Museum.
- PALETTE OF LIGHT (1995) with exhibition catalogue; Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Redding Museum of Art, Bakersfield Museum of Art, Riverside Museum of Art, and The Irvine Museum;
- GUY ROSE, AMERICAN IMPRESSIONIST (1995) with exhibition book and video; organized jointly with the Oakland Museum; traveled to the Oakland Museum, The Irvine Museum, the Montclair Museum of Art (New Jersey) and the Greenville Museum (South Carolina);
- CALIFORNIA IMPRESSIONISTS (1996) with exhibition book; an official function of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games Cultural Olympiad; organized jointly with University of Georgia Art Museum; traveled to Cummer Museum, Jacksonville, Florida, the Gibbes Museum, Charleston, South Carolina, the Crocker Museum, Sacramento, and The Irvine Museum;
- IMPRESSIONS OF CALIFORNIA (1996) with exhibition book and PBS video, in conjunction with KOCE-TV PBS Huntington Beach; Video, by Paul Bockhorst;
- ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL (1998) with exhibition book; traveled to the National Academy Museum, New York, the Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Brigham Young University Museum, Provo, the Oakland Museum, and The Irvine Museum;
- THE SILENT TESTAMENT: NATURE AND HUMANKIND IN THE BALANCE (1998), jointly organized with the Nature Conservancy of California and a number of public and private organizations; Environmental Awareness Exhibition, with illustrated pamphlet, at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, Santa Ana;
- CALIFORNIA'S NATIVE GRANDEUR: PRESERVING VANISHING LANDSCAPES (2001), with exhibition book; jointly organized with the Nature Conservancy of California; traveled to the Oakland Museum of California, the Napa Valley Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and The Irvine Museum;
- THE LIFE AND ART OF PAUL DE LONGPRE (2001), authored by Nancy Hall; definitive book on an important French-California artist; traveling exhibition in preparation;
- MASTERS OF LIGHT: CALIFORNIA IMPRESSIONIST PAINTINGS FROM THE IRVINE MUSEUM (2002), with exhibition book; traveled to the Mona Bismarck Foundation Museum, Paris, France, the International Cultural Centre, Cracow, Poland, the Centro Cultural del Conde Duque, Madrid, Spain, and The Irvine Museum.
- The Irvine Museum is currently preparing four books to accompany traveling exhibitions:
- THE GUY ROSE CATALOGUE RAISONNÈ, compiled by Roy C. Rose;
- THE NATIVE FLORA OF CALIFORNIA, PAINTINGS BY ALBERT R. VALENTIEN, joint project with the San Diego Museum of Natural History; See our Bookstore for more information.
- THE LIFE AND ART OF JOSEPH KLEITSCH, authored by Dr. Patricia Trenton;
- THE LIFE AND ART OF ARTHUR E. BEAUMONT, authored by Geoffrey C. Beaumont.
Then and Now: 100 Years of Plein Air Painting
May 17-October 2, 2014
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