Laguna Vista

Benjamin Chambers Brown
Laguna Vista
Oil on canvas, c. 1915
24 x 18 inches
Gift of Mrs. William Griffith

One of the earliest artists to settle in Southern California, Benjamin Brown moved to Pasadena in 1896. He worked as both a painter and a printmaker and was a founding member of the California Art Club. The locale is likely a view toward Arch Beach. The gestural brushstrokes in this work suggest rapid application of paint, an indication of a work done on location or en plein air. Brown was a quintessential impressionist and outspoken in his criticism of other painting styles. When an east coast dealer him to disassociate himself from the West, implying that it would improve sales, Brown refused and thereafter often added the word “California” beneath his signature to show the pride he felt for his adopted state. As a close friend of Laguna Beach artist William Griffith, Brown often visited the seaside community.