Priceless Ochs collection of California Impressionist art to be exhibited at Casa Romantica
I Love You, California: The Peter and Gail Ochs Collection
November 3, 2018 – February 18, 2018 | Free with general admission to Casa Romantica
Opening reception Friday, November 3, 2017 from 6:00pm-8:00pm | Free
San Clemente, CA – Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is proud to announce its upcoming Open Casa exhibition I Love You, California: The Peter and Gail Ochs Collection. The exhibition, which is on view from November 3, 2017 through February 18, 2018, is a prominent collection of California Impressionist art.
Among the Ochs’ current collection, 25 of the most-prized landscape works will be hung at Casa Romantica. Some of the exhibition’s highlights include William Wendt’s Sunny Slopes, Granville Redmond’s California Symphony, and Maurice Braun’s enormous work The Land of Sunshine. Other artists whose works will be shown include Franz Bischoff, Carl Oscar Borg, Benjamin Chambers Brown, Colin Campbell Cooper, Frank Cuprien, John Marshall Gamble, Joseph Kleitsch, Jean Mannheim, Alfred Mitchell, Edgar Payne, Hanson Duvall Puthuff, Arthur Grover Rider, Jack Wilkinson Smith, and Elmer Wachtel.
The Ochs lend work to museum institutions as part of their sense of responsibility to make this historic art accessible to the public. I Love You, California: The Peter and Gail Ochs Collection is only the second time that such a great percentage will be exhibited. Casa Romantica Executive Director Berenika Schmitz cultivated a relationship with Peter and Gail during her participation in a leadership program organized by the Fieldstone Foundation, which the Ochs founded to empower nonprofit leaders.
“Sitting in the Fieldstone Foundation conference room during our meetings, I could not help but be captivated by the incredible artworks that hung on the walls. The inspiring environment that the Ochs created with their private collection, along with the passion of my fellow nonprofit leaders, motivated my desire to share this ultimately invigorating experience with our community.
“Private collections are distinctive because they express something personal about the collectors. From the beginning, therefore, it was important that I curate this exhibition from the heart, not only from my knowledge of the prestige of this collection. The exhibition is titled ‘I Love You, California,’ our state’s song, and I selected the works that appear in our Open Casa exhibition because they capture the adoration by these great masters for our naturally blessed California landscape. I paired the works with quotes from the great author and naturalist John Muir, who also loved the California wilderness. Our intent is that the walls of our gallery will inspire awe.”
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is proud to present a carefully selected variety of historic and contemporary art exhibitions which bring international talent in San Clemente. From 2014-2017, the institution put on a quarterly exhibition of works from the E. Gene Crain Collection, one of the most important collections of California watercolors with works from Phil Dike, Rex Brandt, and Millard Sheets, among others. Its most recent contemporary exhibition, Casa Coastal: Rebecca Louise Law, received national press for its immersive beauty and ingenuity. Casa Romantica was named Outstanding Arts Organization of 2017 by Arts Orange County (ArtsOC).
About Peter and Gail Ochs
Peter Ochs is the chairman and former CEO of the Fieldstone Group of Companies, one of California and the West’s largest homebuilding companies. He became the company’s founder and president in 1979, and began building a corporate collection soon afterward with his wife Gail.
The Ochs remember: “Almost 40 years ago we began to dream about developing a collection of art that could be both personally enjoyable and also have broader meaning. We found ourselves drawn to California Impressionism, focusing only on work created by Southern California artists in Southern California. It captured a unique period of time in California history … a time of major growth and change as people by the tens of thousands began to pour into the relatively uninhabited southern part of the State.
“It is our hope that the beauty of today’s California will be preserved for future generations just as these early artists preserved for us the beauty as it once was. We share with them a love of the land and that special quality of art and light which has created such a remarkable place for us all.”
The Ochs began collecting intensely, causing the Los Angeles Times to comment in a 1987 article that they were “one of Orange County’s most visible patrons of the arts.” Peter Ochs retired in 1993 at the age of 50 to focus his time on the couple’s philanthropic and missionary-based efforts through their charitable organizations Fieldstone Foundation and First Fruit.
Works from the Peter and Gail Ochs collection have been exhibited in southern California at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Irvine Museum, and the Laguna Art Museum, among others, and have been published in several books about California Impressionist art. In addition, work from the collection has been shown in various other museums across the country.
Opening reception and general admission
The opening reception of I Love You, California will be held on Friday, November 3, 2017 from 6-8pm, and is free to attend. Complimentary wine and cheese will be served. The exhibition will be on view to the public daily during Casa Romantica public hours through Sunday, February 18, 2017. Access to the exhibition is included with the $5 general admission fee to Casa Romantica. Casa Romantica will be closed on all Mondays and national holidays; please call in advance of your visit. General information can be found online at www.CasaRomantica.org, by calling (949) 498-2139, or by visiting the institution at 415 Avenida Granada in San Clemente.
I Love You California: The Peter and Gail Ochs Collection is made possible by philanthropic support from Peter and Gail Ochs. Additional support is provided by John and Barbara Hazeltine.
About Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens maintains a robust series of year-round programs in arts, music, history, horticulture, and literature for all ages. Under the leadership of Executive Director Berenika Schmitz, Casa Romantica has commissioned several critically-acclaimed works, including Casa Coastal: Rebecca Louise Law (2017; visual art), Casa Kinetic: Contemporary Dance Collective (2017; contemporary dance), The Beauty of the Butterfly (2017; visual art), Casa Kinetic: Carrie Lee Riggins (2016; contemporary dance), Casa Drama: Slings & Arrows (2015; theater), and Open Casa: The Photographs of Douglas Kirkland (2015; visual art). The 2017-18 Casa Captivating season includes a new jazz series, visual and performing arts commissions, and an enhanced wellness program.
“Casa Romantica strives to be the epicenter for innovative artistic experiences in our southern California community,” says Casa Romantica Executive Director Berenika Schmitz.
Casa Romantica also hosts a variety of free arts education programs for children year-round. The institution’s annual Casa Romantica Music Festival and Academy has received critical praise for its comprehensive two-week music studies program in cello, piano, viola, and violin. Casa Romantica also offers a Summer Dance Workshop, a Spring Break Arts Week, various art, literature, and horticulture events to grades K-12, and welcomes over 2,000 children from the Capistrano Unified School District each year for STEAM-based field trips that examine the history of San Clemente and the coastal environment.
Mission Statement: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and is the historic home of the founder of the City of San Clemente. Casa Romantica provides programs for all ages in arts, music, history, and horticulture and is a premier Southern California cultural center.
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is located at 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, CA 92672. Hours: Tuesday—Thursday 11 am—4 pm; Friday—Sunday 10am—2pm; closed Mondays and holidays. General admission is $5; Casa Members and children under age 13 visit for FREE. For more information, call (949) 498-2139 or visit CasaRomantica.org