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The California Desert

“Attracting painters from neighboring art centers, [the desert] offers particular challenges to painters: it demands a unique palette, requires special compensation for the absence of atmospheric perspective, and presents compositional challeneges because of its barrenness. On the other hand, it also provides an artist with such grand elements as austere rock formations and exotic plant life.” (Nancy Moure, Painting and Sculpture in Los Angeles, 1900-1945, LACMA, 1980, p.13)

While many Southern California Plein Air artists ventured from the coasts on sketching trips, artists such as Agnes Pelton and Paul Grimm set up their homes and studios in Cathedral City and Palm Springs, devoting their full-time practice to the dramatic local landscape.


Joseph Frey
Paul Grimm
John W. Hilton
Jean Mannheim

Joseph Frey



Paul Grimm



John W. Hilton



Jean Mannheim


George Robert Sherriff
George Robert Sherriff
Gunnar Widforss

George Robert Sherriff



George Robert Sherriff



Gunnar Widforss