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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 55  |  July 10, 2020

LAM initiates phased reopening – new Granville Redmond exhibition debuts on June 28

After a lengthy closure, Laguna Art Museum (LAM) welcomed visitors again at its reopening on June 12 – with advance tickets required for timed entry. For the next two weeks, LAM will be partially open, featuring two exhibitions while the main level galleries change for the next highly anticipated exhibition of works by Granville Redmond beginning on June 28 (for the general public). 

Admission will be free in the meantime, and limited in capacity with tickets required for timed entry, as the process for a phased reopening will be in place for some time. 

LAM initiates permanent

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Courtesy of LAM

Part of permanent collection 

LAM Executive Director Malcolm Warner says, “We’re mightily relieved and delighted to be open to the public again after being closed for three months. Currently on show is a special exhibition of watercolors of Mexico from the collection of Gene and Diane Crain, Travels in Mexico, as well as a selection of mid 20th-century paintings from our permanent collection.” 

Travels in Mexico features The California School paintings done in Mexico from the 1930s through the 1980s, by artists including Rex Brandt, Phil Dike, Emil J. Kosa, Jr., Phil Paradise, Millard Sheets, and Milford Zornes, from an art collection formed around personal relationships between collector and artists.

LAM initiates sheets

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Courtesy of LAM

Millard Sheets, “Windswept,” 1941 

Warner continues, “Behind the scenes, we’re in the process of installing a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of paintings by the great Granville Redmond, a glorious hymn of praise to the natural beauty of California. It opened to acclaim at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento earlier this year but soon closed owing to the pandemic. Laguna Art Museum is its only other venue. We’ll be giving our museum members a preview on June 27, and we’ll open it to the general public on June 28.” 

Redmond produced a body of work that captures California’s diverse topography, vegetation, and color. Representing both northern and southern parts of the state, his paintings range in style from contemplative “Tonalist” works that evoke a quiet calm, to dramatic and colorful Impressionist scenes. Today Redmond is widely considered one of the leading California artists of his era. Granville Redmond: The Eloquent Palette was organized by the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, Calif.

LAM initiates blue marsh

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Courtesy of LAM

Granville Redmond, untitled, Moonlight Marsh Scene

Born in Philadelphia, Redmond contracted scarlet fever as a toddler, which left him permanently deaf. Soon afterwards, his family moved to California. Redmond is today best known for his images of the California landscape ablaze with poppies and other native flora. Silent film star Charlie Chaplin, his friend and supporter, said of these paintings, “There’s such a wonderful joyousness about them all. Look at the gladness in that sky, the riot of color in those flowers. Sometimes I think that the silence in which he lives has developed in him some sense, some great capacity for happiness in which we others are lacking.”

This exhibition, the largest ever assembled and the first in more than thirty years, includes approximately eighty-five signature paintings. It is accompanied by a substantial, fully illustrated catalogue.

“As well as ramping up our online programs during the closing, we prepared ourselves thoroughly to reopen the moment we had the go-ahead and safety guidelines from the state and county,” says Warner. “We’ll be asking our visitors to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing until further notice. Meanwhile we’ll continue, as ever, to give them a warm welcome and the uplifting experience of great art.”

LAM initiates sand dunes

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Courtesy of LAM

“Sand Dunes” by Granville Redmond

“While the museum was closed, our staff worked remotely to offer art and inspiration online. We also planned for the day when we could safely open again, looking forward to a time when arts and culture may begin to return to normal.”

The LAM+LAB at Home pages have been popular. These projects were among the museum’s first digital offerings after closing, with LAM’s education team working quickly to develop content that could be useful for teachers and parents, modeled on the projects that normally take place inside the museum or in classrooms where LAM’s educators travel. LAM now has more than a dozen online art projects that relate to the museum’s exhibitions and collections, and more coming soon to complement the next exhibition.

LAM also started a new landing page with LAM at Home, compiling digital offerings – including LAM+LAB at Home – plus video versions of the museum’s regular Thursday evening programs: Live! at the Museum concerts are embedded on LAM’s site with YouTube links; Film Night is now streaming, sometimes with special filmed introductions; and lectures are presented as videos now as well. LAM plans to continue programs digitally rather than onsite for the foreseeable future.

New protocols

To help ensure the health and safety of fellow guests and museum staff, visitors are asked to follow the protocols below:

--Visitors will be screened for symptoms, including a contactless temperature check.

--Face masks are required for visitors and staff.

--Physical distancing of six feet, except between members of the same household, is encouraged.

Advance tickets for timed entry are required. Click here to select a date and time.

LAM’s new hours are 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily, except on Wednesdays when the museum is closed. There are currently no guided tours.

LAM is located at 307 Cliff Dr. 

For more information and to access LAM at Home and LAM+LAB at Home, go to or call (949) 494-8971.


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

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