The California Heritage Museum presents a new painting exhibition: California Water Color Society

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The California Heritage Museum presents a new painting exhibition: California Water Color Society
Rex Brandt (1914-2000), CWCS President 1948), View from the Terrace 1968. Watercolor, 20 x 28”. Diane Crain Collection.

SANTA MONICA, CA.- One hundred years ago a small group of Southern California artists formed the California Water Color Society and held their first exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art. (The spelling at the time was “Water Color” — two words — which was common usage in the 1920s.)

The founding members were all established professional artists. Artists in the exhibition include: Marion Kavanaugh Wachtel, Phil Dike, Millard Sheets, Phil Paradise, Emil Kosa Jr., Edward Reep, Ralph Hulett, Wayne La Com, Milford Zornes and Rex Brandt among others. Their stated goal in forming the CWCS was to elevate the watercolor medium “to the dignity it enjoyed under such great cultures as those of China and Persia”.

During the first 50 years this organization was in operation, it was known as the California Water Color Society. After 1971 when larger numbers of artists from other parts of America joined the CWCS, the board and members chose to change the society name to the National Watercolor Society. That name is used to this day to identify the society.

This exhibition has been mounted to present select watercolors by outstanding artists who were members between 1921 and 1971, when the organization was known as the California Water Color Society. Many of the artists were either on the Board of Directors or served as jurors for society exhibitions during that fifty-year period of time.
The goal of this exhibition is to visually confirm the CWCS artists from that fifty year period of time indeed succeeded in establishing Southern California as a center for the advancement of the watercolor medium; just as the founding members had hoped for when they formed the organization in 1921.

This exhibition was curated by Gordon T. McClelland for the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University, the originating exhibition site.

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