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Laguna Art Museum Donates Four Outerbridge Photos to Festival of Arts

Photos Depict Pageant of the Masters c. 1950 and Festival Founder Roy Ropp (June 18, 2012)

LAGUNA BEACH, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/18/12 -- On Wednesday, June 13, Laguna Art Museum presented a gift to the Festival of Arts of four photographs by Paul Outerbridge, all previously owned by Laguna Art Museum. Malcolm Warner, executive director of Laguna Art Museum, and Janet Blake, curator of collections, presented the gift to Festival of Arts board president Fred Sattler; Tom Lamb, vice president; and Pat Kollenda, secretary.

"How wonderful on our 80th anniversary to receive this addition to our permanent art collection which furthers the documentation of the Festival's history," said Festival of Arts President Fred Sattler.

The four photographs, all from 1950-51, have recently been identified as relating to the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. One photograph is a portrait of artist and Festival of Arts founder Roy Ropp in his studio. The three other photographs are of three posed pictures at the Pageant of the Masters. The subjects of the three living pictures from the 1950 Pageant of the Masters were identified by Malcolm Warner as Diana the Huntress, a sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington from 1922; The Departure of Lot and His Family from Sodom by Peter Paul Rubens, c. 1613-15; and The Annunciation by Hans Memling, 1465-75. The Rubens is in the collection of the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, and the Memling is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Since 1932 the Pageant of the Masters, which takes place on the grounds of the Festival of Arts, has produced an annual production of tableaux vivants, or "living pictures," which are re-creations of works of art with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces.

The Board of Trustees of Laguna Art Museum unanimously approved the gift, noting that it was fitting that the four photographs be in the collection of the Festival of Arts. Director Malcolm Warner remarked that both Laguna Art Museum and the Festival of Arts can trace their heritage to the Laguna Beach Art Association, which was founded in 1918, and are in that sense related institutions.

Paul Outerbridge (b. 1896 New York City, d. 1958 Laguna Beach, California) was a designer and illustrator in New York before turning to photography in the 1920s. Outerbridge's work appeared in magazines such as Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, and McCall's, as well as in exhibitions of fine photography at Royal Photographic Society in London, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Getty. In 1943 he moved to Southern California where he continued photographing and writing about photography until his death in 1958. He was himself an exhibitor at the Festival of Arts in 1949, 1950, 1955, and 1957. Outerbridge was celebrated for his ability to transform commonplace objects into semiabstractions through a keen sensitivity to pattern and light.

"The Festival is appreciative of Malcolm Warner, Janet Blake and the Laguna Art Museum Board of Trustees for the collaborative spirit in which this gift was made. These photographs by Paul Outerbridge represent a connective union on many levels and reinforces the historic bond between our organizations," stated Festival of Arts Vice President Tom Lamb.

From its humble beginnings as a means of promoting and sustaining the fine arts in Laguna Beach, the Festival of Arts has matured into a world-renowned cultural institution drawing visitors from far and wide. The Festival -- with its premier attraction, the Pageant of the Masters -- has shared its success, awarding millions of dollars over the years in the form of scholarships to art students and grants to art and cultural organizations, and hosting cultural events on the grounds throughout the year. The Festival of Arts and the City of Laguna Beach have grown up together, becoming inseparable in the eyes of residents and of the many patrons who return year after year to enjoy the world-class art of the Festival and unique tableaux vivants of the Pageant.

Laguna Art Museum is a museum of California art. Its purpose is to provide the public with exposure to art and to promote understanding of the role of art and artists in American culture through collection, conservation, exhibition, research, scholarship and education. Working within the tradition of the oldest cultural institution in Orange County, Laguna Art Museum documents regional art and places it in a national context. The museum maintains its historic ties to the community and is responsive, accessible, and relevant to the area's diverse population.

The museum's exhibitions, catalogues, and educational activities illustrate an ongoing examination of California art, which includes historical and contemporary art. Through collections, publications, and research on the art of California, Laguna Art Museum promotes understanding of the role of California art and artists in the development of the visual arts nationally and internationally.

Images of donated photographs by Paul Outerbridge available upon request.

Image Available:

Marni Farmer
Director of Communications
Laguna Art Museum
949.494.8971 x208
Email Contact

Sharbie Higuchi
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Festival of Arts
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