California Regionalism

Oils on Canvas

The exhibition featured works in the regionalist style that came to the fore during the 1920s. Regionalist artists chose to paint the world around them, capturing everyday scenes and subjects that previous generations had considered too ordinary to be worth recording. 

Many of California’s finest artists were associated with the movement and the exhibition features works by Phil Dike, Ralph Huelett, Emil Kosa Jr., Ben Messick, Barse Millar, Phil Paradise, Paul Sample and Millard Sheets.

The Chouinard Art School in downtown LA, was the epicenter of the Southern California regionalists and many of their works showed local landmarks such as Chinatown and the Angel’s Flight funicular railway. During the 20s and 30s, in response to increased immigration, the urban landscape began a period of change, which reached its most radical phase with the demolition of Bunker Hill in the 1950s. 

Through their depiction of life and work, the regionalist painters documented the changes, reflecting new patterns of industrialization, settlement and leisure in California. 

Their work is familiar to all who love the State, for even though the occupations and buildings may have changed, the core of California life continues to inspire.

Ralph Hulett

Under the Overpass


Phil Dike 

Sunday Afternoon in the Plaza de Los Angeles


Joseph Frey

The Rite Spot, Pasadena, CA


Emil Kosa, Jr.

Big Top

ca 1940

Emil Kosa, Jr.

Looking Towards the Civic Center, San Francisco

ca 1940