Open main menu

California Scene Painting is a form of American regionalist art depicting landscapes, places, and people of California. It flourished from the 1920s to the 1960s.


Early 20th Century California artists interested in everyday images and themes from the state's 19th Century history provided the foundation for the emergence of the regional genre of California Scene Painting. The term was attributed to Los Angeles art critic Arthur Miller,[1][2] [3] and it referred to watercolors, oil paintings and mosaics of landscapes and scenes of everyday life,[3][4] such as mountain and coastal scenery, pastoral agricultural valleys, and dynamic cities and highways.[1][2][5] Varying in style and subject, California Scene Painting was influenced by a range of precursor styles, notably Impressionism (particularly California Impressionism) Cubism, and Realism.[6]

Notable artistsEdit

Notable California scene artists included Emil Kosa Jr., Millard Sheets, Milford Zornes, Phil Dike, Rex Brandt, Phil Paradise, Elsie Palmer Payne, Elsie Lower Pomeroy, Barse Miller, Paul Sample, Dong Kingman, and Charles Payzant.[3][4][2] One group — including Sheets, Dike, Brandt, Miller, Zornes, and Kosa, Jr. — worked in large-scale watercolors.[1]

A 2014 exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of Art included many of the best-known California scene painters.[2]

  1. ^ a b c McClelland, Gordon T. (July 20, 2013). "The Golden Age of California Scene Paintings". AFA Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "California Scene Paintings from 1930 to 1960 on View at Pasadena Museum of California Art". Huffpost, April 15, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "California Scene Paintings". Hilbert Museum of California Art.
  4. ^ a b "California Scene Paintings: 1920s–1970s". Irvine Museum website, 2014.
  5. ^ Stern, Jean, and Molly Siple. California Light: A Century of Landscapes, 2011.
  6. ^ Brown, Michael D. Views from Asian California, 1920–1965, 1992.

Cite error: A list-defined reference named "McClelland" is not used in the content (see the help page).

Further readingEdit

  • McClelland, Gordon T., and Austin D. McClelland (2013). California Scene Painting (ISBN 9781616581084)