Catalina Island News

Catalina Island Museum Announces Its Winter Season Exhibitions

Catalina Island Museum

Coming off its first wildly successful blockbuster exhibition Chihuly at the Catalina Island Museum, the Catalina Island Museum looks to strengthen its relationship to Southern California art enthusiasts through two first-time exhibitions: José Guadalupe Posada: Legendary Printmaker of Mexico and Destination Paradise: 100 Years of Catalina Advertising Design. Posada is the first exhibition of Mexican Art to be presented on Catalina Island and Destination Paradise is mined from the museum’s rarely seen or exhibited permanent collection.

It was Diego Rivera who rightly commented in 1930, “Posada…so great that perhaps one day his name will be forgotten.”  Posada explores the profound influence of master engraver and etcher, José Guadalupe Posada on Mexican culture during his own lifetime (1852-1913) and his enduring impact upon arts and culture. Though often unrecognized by name, Posada’s images – especially those he created for Diá de los Muertos – are widely recognizable. To this day, they are championed, imitated and re-appropriated by artists and social change leaders.

This year Los Angeles art institutions are exploring the relationship and impact between Latin America and Los Angeles through a series of exhibitions funded through the Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time LA/LA initiative. Though this exhibition is self-funded, the Catalina Island Museum is contributing to this wide arching celebration of Latin American art in the Los Angeles area. With an estimated 20,000 images credited to his name, Posada is heralded as the most prolific of all Mexican artists. His imagery is celebrated for embodying the spirit of Mexico and changing the course of Latin American arts in a time when European and academic art movements were the norm.

This timely exhibition brings together nearly 60 of the artist’s most iconic images and is remarkable for its inclusion of rarely exhibited printing plates etched or engraved and signed by Posada himself. In addition, Posada explores the relatively unknown relationship between the artist and Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, Mexico City’s most prominent publisher with whom Posada worked under, and collaborated with, from 1889 until his death in 1913. This year, 2017, marks the 100th year since Vanegas Arroyo’s death.

José Guadalupe Posada: Legendary Printmaker of Mexico comes to the Catalina Island Museum courtesy of The Posada Art Foundation, the largest collection of Posada’s artworks privately held in the United States. The collection was purchased by the Foundation directly from the Vanegas Arroyo family. Dates for special events, including a screening of Searching for Posada: Art and Revolutions to be announced.

The exhibition will be on view from December 23, 2017 through April 8, 2018.

The exhibition, Destination Paradise: 100 Years of Catalina Advertising Design also opens in late December.

The art of luring visitors to Catalina is vividly presented in this exhibition which traces 100 years of advertising history beginning in the late 19th century. From hand drawn and painted signs to modern posters, the evolution of advertising Santa Catalina Island as a tourist destination is fully explored through a multitude of slogans, jingles and captivating designs.

Compiled almost exclusively from the Catalina Island Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition documents how Catalina Island’s owners, businesses and the passenger service companies have endlessly experimented in branding the island as paradise within reach. Located 22 miles off of the coast of Los Angeles, the mostly uninhabited island has its center of activity in the city of Avalon. Nearly all of the island’s advertising has centered around Avalon, its attractions and its protective harbor famous for its clear and sparkling waters.

Visitors to the exhibition will experience all types of advertising from early hand-drawn brochures showing the newly invented glass bottom boats and the modern “sanitary” grand hotels available for comfortable overnight stays, to the ingenious newspaper ads that pair quick slogans with bold imagery – a barrel of fun with a giggling boy, an exhausted housewife who needs a complete change, or an owl that knows it is wise to rest and play – to the 1930s billboard and poster designs created by Otis and Dorothy Shephard through to the 1970s and 1980s when the use of photographic images over artist renderings became the norm.

Nostalgic and fun, when taken as a whole Destination Paradise provides a fascinating overview of advertising trends as well as 100 years of documentation that will appeal to maritime and air vessel enthusiasts, lovers of fashion, architecture and historians of all kinds.

The exhibition can be viewed from December 30, 2017 through April 22, 2018.

The Catalina Island Museum offers the best in art and history exhibitions, music and dance performances, lectures by guest speakers from all over the world, and the finest in silent, documentary and international film. Open seven days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, except New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building is located in the heart of Avalon at 217 Metropole Avenue. For more information, the museum may be reached by phone at 310-510-2414 or at its website: