Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

2019 Pageant of the Masters will take guests into ‘The Time Machine’

Clock at Grand Central Station
Next year’s Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach will re-create the 1914 sculpture by Jules-Felix Coutan at Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
(Courtesy of Pageant of the Masters)

“The Time Machine,” described as a collection of artists who imagined and re-created scenes from the past and future, has been announced as the theme of next summer’s 86th Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach.

Festival of Arts leaders elaborated on the theme during the nonprofit’s annual meeting Wednesday at the Forum Theater.

The pageant is an annual production of “living pictures” in which costumed volunteers pose as famous artworks. Live music and original narration accompany the re-creations.

“The Time Machine” takes its cue from H.G. Wells’ 1895 science-fiction novella of the same name, organizers said.


“Wells tapped into a fascination for time travel that continues to inspire artists of every medium,” said pageant director Diane Challis Davy. “For next year’s pageant, we intend to conjure up a collection of artists who imagine scenes from the ancient past and the unknown future.”

Challis Davy, who is entering her 24th season as producer and director, said chosen pieces also will “take a nostalgic trip” into 1950s America.

Featured works will be from masters such as Norman Rockwell, Georges Seurat and Johannes Vermeer, as well as Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, John Sloan and Kurt Ard.

Pageant scriptwriter Dan Duling said in a statement that next year’s show will “focus on the ways in which art reveals and reflects the world in which it was created. When we look at works by artists like Leonardo da Vinci or Vincent van Gogh, they provide us with the invaluable clues to better understand life in their times.”


“Time and the Fates of Man”
The 86th Pageant of the Masters next summer will re-create Paul Manship’s “Time and the Fates of Man,” displayed at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The 2019 pageant’s theme is “The Time Machine,” a nod to the H.G. Wells novella.
(Courtesy of Pageant of the Masters)

This year’s show, themed “Under the Sun,” paid tribute to Laguna Beach’s history as an art colony.

“We hope that next summer’s pageant will become a wondrous theatric journey of discovery through time, space and art,” Challis Davy said.

The pageant will run July 7 to Aug. 31 as part of the Festival of Arts, which begins July 5.

Bradley Zint is a contributor to Times Community News.