2023 Exhibitions

The Artist at Home

June 17 - September 3, 2023

For centuries, the private spaces of artists have sparked fascination, promising a portal into the genesis of creativity itself. Frequently, the lines between life and art blur in an artist’s home. The architecture of the artist’s home is engineered to support the creative process, and results in unexpected and highly original interior and landscape design.

The exhibition The Artist at Home, presented by the La Jolla Historical Society, invites viewers into the studio and domestic spaces of artists from throughout San Diego and Baja California through partial reconstructions and reimagining of their studios, original photography, as well as images of historic artist homes from across the country. Curated by La Jolla Historical Society Executive Director, Lauren Lockhart, and Independent Curator, Joey Herring, the exhibition explores how these spaces influence artistic production and collaboration, and what they reveal about the modes of living and being as an artist. Original artist projects by Irène de Watteville, Jean Lowe and Kim MacConnel, and irmaSofia Poeter will transport viewers to their private spaces, and playfully explore the history of Wisteria Cottage as a residence.

Herring photographically documented artists’ homes and studios from San Diego and Baja California, including those of Beliz Iristay, Einar and Jamex De la Torre, Johnny “Bear” Contreras, Marisol Rendón and Ingram Ober. Herring’s photographs reveal a stunning range of sites where creativity is housed and nurtured throughout the region.

Additionally, on view will be historic images and stories of La Jolla’s crucibles of creativity including the Green Dragon Colony, and key historic figures from La Jolla’s artistic community. Finally, the exhibition will consider the value of preserving and interpreting artist’s homes and studios and share examples of these efforts through a collaboration with the Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios (HAHS) program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Accompanying public programs will include guided tours of regional artist’s homes and studios, and a lecture and book signing by Valerie Balint, HAHS Director.

Funding for The Artist at Home is generously provided by Suzanne Conlon, Judge Jonathan T. Colby (Ret.), Hugh Davies and Faye Hunter, Dr. Lisa Braun Glazer and Jeff Glazer, and Carole and Nicholas Preece. Additional support provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and Members of the La Jolla Historical Society.

Sacred Canyons & Rare Trees: Torrey Pines – San Diego’s Symbol of Preservation

February 10 – May 21, 2023

Landscape photograph of cliffs and Torrey Pines

The La Jolla Historical Society is proud to present Sacred Canyons & Rare Trees: Torrey Pines - San Diego's Symbol of Preservation, which chronicles important events in the history of what is known today as Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and brings to light lesser-known efforts to save North America's rarest tree from extinction on the San Diego coast - one of only two places in the world where it grows in its natural habitat.

In addition, the exhibition supports the premise that the preservation and conservation of this habitat by different individuals and cultures played - and continues to play - a vital role in creating a "preservation ethic" in the San Diego area and beyond. This ethic will play an important role in the quality of life for San Diegans for many generations to come by inspiring future conservation efforts in the region, just as Ellen Browning Scripps's own example led the way in the early 1900s.

Coinciding with the 100th birthday of the completion of Torrey Pines Lodge - a gift to the park from Ellen Browning Scripps in 1923 - this extensive overview of the Reserve traces its history from the role it played in the lives of its earliest, indigenous inhabitants, through a European discovery era and the Ranchos, to scientific discovery by Charles Parry, to the actions of visionary San Diegans - in particular Ellen Browning Scripps and members of the Society of Natural History - who saved and protected lands that “delight the eye and soothe the soul.”

Exhibit Curated by Peter Jensen and John Durant

Funding for this project generously provided by Sheryl and Bob Scarano, the Torrey Pines Conservancy, and the Florence Riford La Jolla Community Fund at the San Diego Foundation. Institutional support provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and by the Members of the La Jolla Historical Society.