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'The Paternal Suit: Heirlooms from the F. Scott Hess Family Foundation' exhibition opens in Long Beach
The Paternal Suit exhibition has travelled nationally since August 2012, and the Long Beach Museum of Art is its final stop.
LONG BEACH, CA.- The Long Beach Museum of Art opened its latest exhibition on July 10 entitled The Paternal Suit: Heirlooms from the F. Scott Hess Family Foundation. This exhibition consists of more than 100 paintings, prints, and objects assembled by contemporary Los Angeles artist F. Scott Hess. The exhibit, which runs through October 5, is being presented as legitimate historical artifacts, supported by photographs, documents, and historical ephemera. Each object and artwork bears an artist’s name and detailed provenance and has been executed in the style of the century from which it originates. Sculpture, ceramics, furniture, toys, newspaper clippings, historic photographs, guns, and costumes advance the story. Hess does not claim authorship for the majority of works on display. Instead, he ascribes to them fictional artists, referring to himself as the Director of the “F. Scott Hess Family Foundation.” A 200-page catalogue, written by Bella Menteur, PhD, accompanies the exhibit that chronicles 400 years of F. Scot Hess’ paternal ancestry in America. A film by Susan Carney and Shirin Bazleh is also part of the exhibition. The film includes interviews with Hess at his home in Los Angeles, insight into his creative process, still images of works in the exhibition, and an overview of the captivating history of his paternal family side.

The Paternal Suit exhibition has travelled nationally since August 2012, and the Long Beach Museum of Art is its final stop. It originally opened in Charleston, South Carolina at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts, who also organized the exhibition along with the artist. Other stops included Mobile, Alabama and Sumter, South Carolina. The exhibition follows Hess’s ancestral lineage from 17th century England to the Puritan settlements of South Carolina and Georgia, where family members became key players in the American Civil War (1861-1865). Through the prism of his ancestry, Hess examines the impact of false history and deception within each generation and throughout society as a whole, and questions the authority of perceived “truths.”

“The Paternal Suit exhibition encompasses all of the Museum’s galleries and the largest collection the Museum hosts in 2014,” said Executive Director Ron Nelson. “The Museum has a long history of exhibiting work by this seminal Southern Californian artist and we are absolutely thrilled that we are able to present this to our members and the greater Long Beach community.” Nelson added, “This exhibition is a unique concept using Hess’s family history as an instrument for his art. For the Museum, it symbolizes our commitment to showcasing significant contemporary works.”

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