Exhibition opens on Saturday, October 3, 2015
Continues through Thursday, January 21, 2016

INDEPENDENT VISIONS: Women Artists of California 1880-1940, celebrates the work of California's historic women artists.  The independence of California's women artists is demonstrated by the wide variety of artistic styles displayed in the exhibition.  The works vary from classically-inspired portraits and still-lifes to bold Modernist paintings that document the progressive trends of our women painters.

 Far from being limited to a dilettante role, women artists in California were important figures in the late nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century.  They excelled in landscape painting, as well as portrait, figural, and still-life.  Moreover, they set the standard in such diverse media as oil painting, watercolor, and sculpture.

 As one of the founders of the Laguna Beach Art Association in 1917, Anna A. Hills (1882-1930) played a key role in founding the group and later, as its president, in charting the course of this important association.  A popular art teacher, Hills helped guide the careers of numerous artists, most notably George K. Brandriff (1890-1936).

 One of the most popular artists whose works are often displayed at The Irvine Museum is Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971).  Her elegant and brightly colored paintings stand out for their sheer power to dazzle the eyes of the viewer.  Nationally known as one of the important American Art Deco painters, Botke's works shimmer with color, graceful line and exquisite detail, and are often times covered by large areas of gold leaf as part of the design.

 Among the many works on display, the museum will show the largest painting in the collection, Jessie Arms Botke's Mural for the Oaks Hotel, in Ojai.  Painted in 1953, the mural measures approximately 7 feet high by 26 feet long.  It represents a scene in the Everglades, full of exotic birds and plants, set in a bright field of gold leaf.

 Not all California painters were working in the Academic or Impressionist manner.  Starting about 1914, a group of progressive artists, many of whom were women, began to show works of strong modernist styles.  Among these were Mabel Alvarez (1891-1985), Elanor Colburn (1866-1939), her daughter Ruth Peabody (1893-1966), Elsie Palmer Payne (1884-1971), Donna Schuster (1883-1953) and Henrietta Shore (1880-1963).  Their use of vivid color and bold form is in stark contrast to the realistic appearance of the plein air paintings usually associated with this period.

 The Irvine Museum is located on the Ground Floor of the Airport Tower Building at 18881 Von Karman Avenue, in Irvine.  Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The museum is always closed on Sundays and Mondays and major holidays.  Admission to the museum is complimentary.  Ample free parking is available in the parking structure located behind the building.

 For 24-hour recorded information and directions to the museum, please call (949) 476-2565.  Visit the website at