Laguna Art Museum to open concurrent exhibits

Clarence Hinkle lived in Laguna Beach from 1922 until 1935. Dating to 1917, he painted scenes of the arts colony, but only one of his paintings remains in the Laguna Art Museum's permanent collection.

"Laguna Beach," a 30-inch by 36-inch oil on canvas, is LAM's lone Hinkle. His 1929 painting depicts a swathe of the town's coastline from an elevated vantage point.

Soon, that and more than 114 of Hinkle's other pieces, including more than 25 painted locally, will go on display for "Clarence Hinkle," one of two exhibits that LAM will open to the public June 10 and run concurrently until Oct. 7.

Paintings by Hinkle — who died in Santa Barbara in 1960 — will comprise the larger of the two shows.

"Hinkle is extremely versatile and constantly exploring new ideas, so you'll see marked changes in style," said Janet Blake, the curator of collections and registrar at LAM, who was busy this week installing the "Clarence Hinkle" show.

Blake has divided the museum's Steele Gallery into sections by erecting a temporary wall that resembles a capital "I" when viewed from above.

"He painted many subject matters, which is why I made the decision to install this show more thematically," said Blake, referring to how she has set apart Hinkle's paintings into subgroups. These include sets of his portraiture pieces, his still lifes and geographically specific sets, such his paintings from his Laguna years and those around Santa Barbara, where he moved to in 1935.

Blake has brought together Hinkle paintings drawn from private collections as well as those loaned by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Festival of Arts, the San Diego Museum of Art and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

Blake discovered Hinkle's paintings through her work as a private curator for E. Gene Crain, a collector who lives in Emerald Bay.

At least one of Hinkle's paintings from the 1920s will appear in the second show, dubbed "Modern Spirit and the Group of Eight." The smaller show, curated by Susan Anderson, focuses on eight Los Angeles-area artists who were part of the region's progressive movement in the '20s.

The featured artists are Hinkle, Mabel Alvarez, Henri de Kruif, John Hubbard Rich, Donna Schuster, E. Roscoe Shrader, Edouard Vysekal and Luvena Buchanan Vysekal.

According to a LAM synopsis of the show, "Rather than focusing on plein-air landscape painting, like many artists in Los Angeles during the 1920s, the Group of Eight painted figural works, still lifes and genre scenes in the studio. They wanted to have every means at their disposal to communicate the modern spirit."

Twitter: @ImranVittachi

If You Go

What: "Clarence Hinkle"; "Modern Spirit and the Group of Eight"

Where: Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach

When: June 10 through Oct. 7

More information: Visit

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World