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Picturing Summer at UCI Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art

Daily Jul 20, 2024 to Sep 14, 2024

10:00 am - 4:00 pm

18881 Von Karman Ave., Suite 100
Irvine CA, 92612

Event Website


Curated by Susan Davidson, with interpretive text written by Dada Wang.

With its diverse natural landscapes and radiant sunlight, California has drawn artists for more than a century from distant places captivated by its enchanting summers. The state’s varied geography encompasses the Pacific Coast’s dramatic shorelines and sun-drenched beaches, the sprawling meadows of the state’s North, and the verdant mountains of the Coast Ranges and the Sierra Nevada. Warm summers enabled artists to paint outdoors, allowing them to study the landscape closely and to capture its changing effects of light and atmosphere with spontaneity and immediacy.

The state’s often-booming economy also provided career opportunities and allowed its diverse populations to embrace a wide range of leisurely pastimes, including beach-going, fishing, hiking, and boating. These weekend activities generated their own forms of vernacular architecture in coastal and mountainous regions. Many artists depicted such outdoor ventures with enthusiasm, while others commemorated intimate moments. Set amid California’s luxuriant scenery, the carefree summer lifestyle fostered a free-spirited, creative atmosphere that many artists visualized with loose, expressive brush strokes and bold color palettes.

Picturing Summer presents approximately 35 paintings from Langson IMCA’s collection, supplemented by works borrowed from private collections. These works span different eras and geographical locations around the state and showcase the allure of California’s beloved season. Mounted in summer months, the exhibition invites viewers to immerse themselves in the visual delights evoked by these artworks and to recall their own cherished memories of summer.

Museum Hours: Tuesday – Saturday | 10 am – 4pm; Sunday and Monday | Closed