Experience Plain Air
Cup your eyes and scan our undulating hills, timeworn trails and ever-changing horizon. Strike the modern roadways and edgy buildings and watch as a snapshot develops to reveal expansive, pristine Southern California, circa 1900. One can almost feel the early settlers’ sense of limitless possibilities. While imagination serves us well, the Irvine Museum offers a more tangible way to appreciate the vibrancy, promise and essential spirit of turn-of-the-century California: Impressionist, or plein air, paintings.
Hidden in plain sight off the unassuming lobby of a structure known as the Airport Tower, the Irvine Museum houses some of the finest California Impressionist, or plein air, art in the world. The current exhibition, Independent Visions: Women Artists of California 1880-1940, celebrates painters such as Donna Schuster (1883-1953), Anna Hills (1882-1930) and Euphemia Charlton Fortune (1885-1969).
[pleyn-air; French ple-ner]
Pertaining to a manner or style of painting developed chiefly in France in the mid-19th century, characterized by the representation of the luminous effects of natural light and atmosphere as contrasted with the artificial light and absence of the sense of air or atmosphere associated with paintings produced in the studio.