The Irvine Museum has opened an exhibition of paintings by California Impressionists that depict open air scenes from around a century ago, when the Golden State still was underdeveloped and uncrowded.
The exhibit of 48 paintings by 28 artists has an environmentally friendly undertone and features works by men and women who painted in the Laguna Beach and Newport Beach areas, including Plein Air stylists Anna Hills, Guy Rose, William Wendt, Arthur Rider and Curtis Chamberlin.
"A lot of that land is no longer open space," said Jean Stern, the museum's executive director. "It's been developed into cities, shopping centers and freeways. We want to preserve the open land that still remains."
Titled "Paradise Found: Summer in California," the show opened June 16 and runs until mid-September. Sixteen paintings in the show are from the museum's permanent collection, and the rest come from private collections.
Six of the paintings specifically depict pristine coastal scenes in and around Laguna and Crystal Cove, which modern-day locals may recognize.