“Then and Now: Surviving Challenges With Resilience” – Thoughts from Co-Chair Marilyn Froggatt

Posted July 8, 2020

From Co-Chair Marilyn Froggatt July art email. If you would like to sign up for her newsletter, you may do so at this link: http://mfroggatt.faso.com/email-newsletter.

SUNSET IN THE LUPINE – COACHELLA VALLEY, Oil on Panel, 18 x 24 x 1. For Purchase inquiries, click on the painting.

Then and Now: Surviving Challenges With Resilience

My ambition as a plein air painter (painting nature outdoors) has been to follow the tradition of the early California Impressionists and honor their efforts. They migrated to California in the early 1900’s and decided to stay. They were captivated with the abundance of beautiful landscapes along with a multitude of sunny days. They congregated in areas like San Francisco, Monterey, Yosemite Valley, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Laguna Beach and San Diego. They found the brilliant California light perfect for painting outdoors.


People were moving to California en masse which allowed the artists to prosper in their craft. Sales were brisk with increasing population of home buyers and business owners. The artists also enjoyed a large demand in cities like Boston and New York fueled by dealers representing them. By 1909 the California Art Club was founded in Pasadena and took a permanent home. Franz Bischoff (Arroyo Seco/Pasadena) was the initiating President. William Wendt (Laguna Beach) served as 2nd and 4th President.


By 1931 the great depression had settled in along with changing tastes in art. Some of our early California artists aged out or moved on to other pursuits. However, their paintings were not destroyed. Many found their way to safe keeping on the walls and the attics of homes. Museums vaulted the precious art throughout California.


The club never disappeared, nor the interest in Plein Air Painting. But it was not favored in many museums and art shows for years. In 1993, through the help of benefactors like Joan Irvine Smith and many others, Peter Adams was elected 44th President of the California Art Club and the genre of Plein Air Painting and Fine Representational Art resumed in California. Peter continues to be the President of the California Art Club which still is based in Pasadena, CA.


Artists are resilient people. California Impressionists own their craft and will not abandon it. No amount of epidemic, illness, public acknowledgement, personal taste or museum closures will ever destroy what was started a long time ago during the early years of 1900. Art is resilient. Art will survive.