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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
John Frost
John Frost
Paul Grimm

Joseph Frey



John Frost



John Frost



Paul Grimm


John W. Hilton
Jean Mannheim
Jean Mannheim
Hanson Puthuff

John W. Hilton



Jean Mannheim



Jean Mannheim



Hanson Puthuff


Carl Sammons
George Robert Sherriff
George Robert Sherriff
James Swinnerton

Carl Sammons



George Robert Sherriff



George Robert Sherriff



James Swinnerton


Edouard Vysekal
Gunnar Widforss

Edouard Vysekal



Gunnar Widforss