Field Notes

Field Notes | August 2023

The Orange County Destination Arts and Culture program at John Wayne Airport highlights local cultural landmarks in Orange County for travelers to learn about and add to their travel itinerary. This spring, the Airport partnered with the Moulton Museum in Laguna Hills to share the Pioneer Spirit! 

Moulton Museum with John Wayne Airport Supervisor Katrina Foley, Moulton Niguel Water District, and City of Laguna Hills leadership.

Meet Lewis and Nellie Gail Moulton and journey into Orange County history at John Wayne Airport. Working with the JWA Arts Program, Moulton Museum has developed an eleven-panel, 792 sq. ft. exhibition housed between Terminals B and C on the departures level.

The exhibit highlights several of the museum’s main features and displays numerous artifacts and artwork from the collection. While the purpose of the display is to invite travelers to visit the museum in person, it also allows viewers to engage directly with the content through QR codes, connecting them to historical information, resources, and related stories.

Did you know that Moulton Museum has a free app with trivia and AR experiences?

Nellie Gail Moulton: Through the Eyes of a Pioneer Woman tells the story of Nellie’s arrival from Kansas to California at the turn of the century. Nellie Gail Moulton (1878 – 1972) belongs to a larger movement of female artists who have recently gained significant recognition for their contributions to the arts. Nellie created art throughout her entire life and studied with renowned artists such as William Wendt, Frank Cuprien, Edgar Payne, and Anna Hills who are featured in the gallery. Nellie oversaw Moulton Ranch from 1938-1950 with her daughters Charlotte and Louise. Nellie’s collection of en plein air paintings and sketches are shown along Jane Barnes’ watercolors, her granddaughter. This exhibit showcases Nellie’s life as a pioneer who ushered a new era for Orange County arts and education.

Jane and Scott Barnes with Jennifer Keil at the opening reception

A mural printed from an image of the Mission painted by Nellie Gail Moulton will be installed at the Capistrano Trading Post in San Juan Capistrano. Nellie Gail was a rancher’s wife and a prolific artist. This location is ideal as it can be seen from the parking lot and the many restaurants in that area. Along with the planned beautification of Arguello Way that area will become a favorite pathway to Hennesey’s Restaurant and to Camino Capistrano. The mural reception and unveiling will be held on Friday, August 11th, 2023 from 2-4pm.

James Irvine Swinden is the Chairman and co-founder of the Irvine Museum Collection at the University of California, Irvine. He is the son of Joan Irvine Smith, who began amassing the artwork for the collection in the early 1990s.

Joseph Kleitsch: Abroad and at Home in Old Laguna is on exhibit at Laguna Art Museum since June 24 – September 24, 2023. According to LAM, “Leaving an impression was easy for California Impressionist painter Joseph Kleitsch. Notoriously sociable and admired by many, Kleitsch left his mark in Laguna Beach amid a prolific career that saw him follow his artistic impulses to many beautiful locations.”

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