California Dreamin'
American Art Collector|August 2019
California Dreamin'

This West Coast Art Collection combines several aesthetics for a dynamic mix of paintings.

John O ’Hern

Our collectors’ home in the Palm Springs, California, area is 2,000 miles and lightyears away from their home on the East Coast. His mother had a gallery in San Francisco and he grew up collecting, later developing an early interest in 19th-century French prints and drawings. The French connection comfortably carries over to their California house in an eclectic mix of tramp art and contemporary paintings of Palm Springs’ midcentury aesthetic.

A midcentury lithograph by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) fits comfortably in the sparse and bright spaces of the home (the couple protects their collection from the direct sun of the desert with filtering film and drapes at the windows). The collector purchased the Matisse from a California book dealer friend. It was heavily foxed but was restored by an East Coast conservator. Foxing is an age-related process that affects works on paper and appears as brown spots and discoloration. A conservator can remove it without compromising the integrity of the paper.

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August 2019