Art, Field Notes

Mission San Juan Capistrano “En Plein Air”

Mission San Juan Capistrano continues to educate via their online resources. Visit their Digital Resource Center for Distance Learning at Home. View “En Plein Air” virtual exhibit from the comfort of your home.

“California impressionists were influenced from a French style of painting called ‘en plein air’ which literally translates as ‘open air.’ The term refers to a style of painting that grew from French Impressionism in the late 1800s and thrives to this day. Plein air paintings are painted outdoors allowing the artist to capture the light and colors in a scene.”

We really enjoyed viewing Mary Pickford’s Wedding in 1915 featured in another exhibit. Hollywood’s legendary actress was working in Orange County on a new film.

Hollywood and the Mission
Mary Pickford’s Wedding Date: 1915 Artist: Charles Percy Austin (1883-1948) Material: Oil on canvas

“Silent film actress Mary Pickford first visited Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1910 to film the D.W. Griffith movie, “Two Brothers.” Set against the scenic Mission, the movie helped launch Pickford’s career while garnering attention for the old Mission.

Pickford returned to the Mission five years later to serve as a witness for a friend’s wedding, and while there
she celebrated an impromptu renewal of her own marriage vows to then-husband Owen Moore. Father O’Sullivan performed both ceremonies in the Serra Chapel on April 24, 1915, with the post-ceremony scene
forever captured in a painting by artist Charles Percy Austin.

The oil on canvas painting, which underwent conservation in the 1980s, is on display in the Mission’s ongoing exhibit, “Mission Treasures: Historical Collection Revealed” The marriage renewal is also recorded in one of the Mission’s historic registrars, also on display in the exhibit.”

More photos are made available with our affiliate company, Jennifer Lynn Design.

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