American Legacy: Our National Parks On Location with the Plein-Air Painters of America

Oct 3, 2009 - Jan 10, 2010

This exhibition is now  touring America.View the Tour Schedule >>

Following the success of the 2007 exhibitionFrom the Heart, the Plein- Air Painters of America return to The Haggin Museum for their 22nd Exhibition & Sale. American Legacy: Our National Parks will open with a gala weekend of events on October 2-4, 2009, and remain on view through January 10, 2010.

The exhibition comprises more than 100 paintings by 36 members and guests of thePlein-Air Painters of America (PAPA), documenting 35 different National Park Service locations stretching from coast to coast and border to border. An additional segment of approximately 15 paintings celebrates the centennial this year of Zion National Park.

What is plein-air? 

The adjective plein-air refers to the philosophical belief that going into the field and painting on-location, challenging as it may be, is crucial to successfully documenting a visual and emotional point in time and place.


The artists in this exhibition are recognized as some of the finest on-location painters in the country. Each visited a park of choice, documenting locations that give vision to the unique elements that prompted U.S. Presidents and Congresses to “preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.”

From Wyoming’s Yellowstone, designated a park in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant, to the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, designated by President George W. Bush in 2002, American Legacy takes the viewer through 130 years of preservation.

In many ways it is a “field journal” experience of jewel-like colors, dazzling light and subtle nuances. Parks such as Kenai Fjords in Alaska are so vast and remote that Joan M. LaRue found it best to view it from a boat, while Golden Gate National Recreation Area is an urban retreat that Ken Auster has enjoyed many times himself. Breathtaking vistas and intimate locations off the beaten track are captured in both field studies and studio paintings created from experiences in the field.

Additionally, 15 PAPA members spent a week in March 2009 in Zion National Park in southern Utah. Their plein-air paintings create a special focus on the spectacular gorges and intimate creeks and glades that characterize this park whose Hebrew name means a place of refuge or sanctuary.


Ken Auster, Golden Gate National Recreation Area 
Kenn Backhaus, Appalachian Trail National Scenic Trail 
Betty Billups, Zion National Park 
Christopher Blossom, Weir Farm National Historic Site 
John Budicin, Yosemite National Park 
Scott Burdick, Blue Ridge National Parkway 
Denise Burns, Death Valley National Monument 
Gil Dellinger, Point Reyes National Seashore
Mary DeLoyht-Arendt, Tonto National Monument 
Don Demers, Acadia National Park
Louise DeMore, Grand Teton National Park
Gay Faulkenberry, Ozark National Scenic Riverway 
West Fraser*, Cumberland Island National Seashore 
Lynn Gertenbach, Santa Monica Mountains 
Walt Gonske*, Black Canyon of the Gunnison 
Quang Ho*, Grand Canyon National Park 
Raleigh Kinney, Voyageurs National Park
Frank LaLumia, Canyon de Chelly National Monument 
Joan M. LaRue, Kenai Fjords National Park 
Jean LeGassick, Great Basin National Park 
Kevin Macpherson, Zion National Park 
Joseph McGurl*, Boston Harbor Islands 
Joseph Mendez, Mojave National Preserve
Ned Mueller, North Cascades National Park
Ralph Oberg, Yellowstone National Park
Joe Paquet, Mississippi River & Recreation Area
Jean Perry, Mesa Verde National Park
Ron Rencher, Canyonlands National Park 
Ray Roberts, Old Spanish National Historic Trail
Jane Shuss, Salem Maritime National Historic Site 
Matt Smith, Saguaro National Monument 
Kathryn Stats*, Capitol Reef National Park 
Brian Stewart, St. Croix National Scenic Riverway 
George Strickland, Organ Pipe Cactus Monument 
Linda Tippetts, Glacier National Park
Skip Whitcomb, Rocky Mountain National Park

*Guest Artist


A full-color, 92-page catalog commemorating the American Legacy exhibition will be available for $20 beginning on Friday, Oct. 2, at the gala opening reception.

Illustrated with the artworks created for the exhibition, each of the 35 National Park locations is featured in a two-page spread, detailing the park's history and the artists' experiences.

Jean Stern, Executive Director of The Irvine Museum, contributed a historical overview.

This well-designed collectible is exclusive to The Haggin Museum Store.

To place an order please call the Museum Store at (209) 940-6318.


The following groups and individuals have made this exhibition and its related events possible. The American Legacy Steering Committee thanks all of them for their generosity.

Title Sponsor 
Dino & Joan Cortopassi 
Cortopassi Family Foundation

Collector’s Circle Gold
Bank of Agriculture & Commerce / Dea & Ron Berberian 
Bank of Stockton 
KVIE Public Television 
Robert & Karen Rishwain Family Foundation

Collector’s Circle Silver 
Capital Public Radio 
Cazale’s Flower Shop

Collector’s Circle Bronze 
Bronco Wine Company / Mary Lynne & John Franzia 
City of Stockton
Lodi Winegrape Commission 
Jim & Annette Murdaca 
Barton & Georgia Robertson 
A. Sambado & Son / Lawrence & Beverly Samado 
Stockton Arts Commission 
The Weber Agency / Jennifer Weber

Collector’s Circle Supporter 
Dr. & Mrs. Joseph A. Barkett 
Philip & Anne Berolzheimer 
George & Marilyn Brown 
Mr. & Mrs. John P. Butorac 
Hon. James P. Darrah in memory of Joan Darrah 

Collector’s Circle Supporter (cont.)
Don & Carole Ann Ford 
Mary Lynne & John Franzia 
Bob & Marie Gallo 
Rupert & Yvonne Hall 
Kautz Ironstone Vineyards / John & Gail Kautz 
Robin Knowlton & Stefan Sekula 
Miller Hot Dogs 
John & Bonnie Phillips 
Dr. Kent E. & Mrs. Lana Rogerson 
A.G. Spanos Companies 
Thelma Stewart 
Truex Insurance Agency / George P. Dohrmann 
Sachiko & Tom Zuckerman

Collector’s Circle Friends 
Barsetti Vineyards
Larry & Sue de Polo
Cherokee Freight Lines 
Barbara & Robert Foy 
Timothy & Judith Hachman 
Harney Lane Winery 
Michael & Joan Heffernan 
Anne & Robert Kolber 
LangeTwins Winery
OG Packing / Al & Del Gotelli 
R. C. Investments 
Watts Winery 
John & Patricia Winther 
Jerold & Judith Yecies

Victory Park - Stockton
1201 N. Pershing Ave
Stockton, CA 95203
(209) 940-6300
12:00-5:00 p.m.

1:30-5:00 p.m.

1:30-9:00 p.m.
1st & 3rd Thursdays