What's It All About?

Malcolm Warner moderates a discussion with predecessors Bolton Colburn, Charles Desmarais, and Bill Otton.

Included with museum admission. Advance tickets are recommended.

For questions or to purchase tickets by phone, please call 949.494.8971 x203.


About the Panelists

Malcolm Warner

Malcolm Warner joined Laguna Art Museum as Executive Director in January 2012. Previously he was Deputy Director at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; and Curator of European Art at the San Diego Museum of Art.

He was born in Aldershot (UK) and pursued both undergraduate and graduate studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He received his PhD from the Courtauld in 1985. His doctoral dissertation was on the British Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. He remains the leading authority on Millais and, as a long-term project, is preparing a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s works.

Bolton Colburn

Bolton Colburn was Director of Laguna Art Museum from 1997 to 2011. Previously he was Senior Curator at the Orange County Museum of Art, Senior Curator and Curator of Collections at Laguna Art Museum, and Registrar at La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art. He has also served as Executive Director of the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center and Editor for the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art Collection Book and Exhibition at Utah State University. He studied art history at the University of California, San Diego.

Charles Desmarais

Charles Desmarais is the art critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. He received the 2017 Rabkin Prize for Visual Arts Journalism, and was awarded an Art Critic’s Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1979. He spent the years between as an avid lover of art, friend of artists and leader of arts institutions.

He was Director of the Laguna Art Museum from 1988 to 1994. Among the influential exhibitions he organized during that period was Proof: Los Angeles Art and the Photograph, 1960-1980, which is re-appraised, 26 years later, in the Fall 2018 issue of the journal Aperture.

In addition to his work in Laguna Beach, he served as Director of the California Museum of Photography at the University of California, Riverside (1981-1988) and at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (1995-2004). He was Deputy Director for Art at the Brooklyn Museum from 2004 to 2011, and President of the San Francisco Art Institute from 2011 to 2016.

Bill Otton

William G. Otton is the Vice President of the Board of Directors at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. Previously, he was Director of the Art Museum of South Texas from 1993 to 2007, and was Director of Laguna Art Museum from 1981 to 1987. Otton has also held roles with Wichita Center for the Arts and Southern California Institute for the Arts, among others. He received a MA in Fine Art from California State University, Sacramento, and a PhD in Art History from Illinois State University.

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