Tag Archives: Karl Benjamin

Claremont Museum of Art Receives $100,000 Grant from the B.C. Mccabe Foundation

Claremont, CA (January 22, 2007)— The Claremont Museum of Art today announced it has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the B.C. McCabe Foundation, which will be used to support the opening of the museum and to fund ongoing activities and programs.

“We’re very excited about receiving our first major foundation gift,” said William Moreno, executive director of the museum. “The grant from the McCabe Foundation is a significant milestone for the museum and underscores the importance of this effort for the region. It also says a lot about the strength and commitment of our board members and volunteers and adds considerable momentum to our fundraising campaign.”

Housed in the historic citrus Packing House in the west Village expansion in Claremont, the museum is scheduled to open this spring with a retrospective of the work of internationally renowned painter Karl Benjamin and an exhibition introducing art donated to the permanent collection.

“Foundations are typically more inclined to support organizations that are already up and running,” said John Maguire, who serves of counsel to the board of trustees. “Given that fact, it’s all the more wonderful that the museum has earned the confidence of the McCabe Foundation, which is so generously investing in the museum at this start-up phase.”

Marguerite McIntosh, who has spearheaded the drive to create a Claremont art museum for 20 years, also expressed her appreciation for the foundation grant. “We’re extremely grateful and thank the McCabe Foundation for the faith they’ve placed in the Claremont Museum of Art,” said McIntosh, chairperson of the board of trustees. “Their generosity helps make it possible for us to establish a museum that we hope will grow in importance, reputation and influence and become the cultural center of a lively and expanding artistic community.”

About the Claremont Museum of Art Opening Exhibitions

The Claremont Museum of Art is scheduled to open this spring with a retrospective of the work of internationally renowned painter Karl Benjamin and an exhibition introducing art donated to the permanent collection.

A Conversation with Color: Karl Benjamin, Paintings 1953-1995 will feature nearly 40 paintings that trace the artist’s remarkable career, from his early experiments with cubism to works that represent his role as one of the founders of “abstract classicism.”

Artwork donated to the permanent collection will be displayed in “Building a Legacy: Founding a Museum, Building a Collection.” The exhibition, which will highlight the origins of the museum, will present work by Millard Sheets, James Fuller, Jean Ames, Harrison McIntosh, Betty Davenport Ford, Phil Dike, Roland Reiss, Norm Hines, Milford Zornes, Jack Zajac and other notable local artists.

With 3,500 square feet of exhibition space, a store, offices and sculpture garden, the museum will occupy the west end of the historic citrus Packing House in the West Village expansion in Claremont. The renovated 1922 building will also house restaurants, shops, lofts and office space.

About the Museum

The Claremont Museum of Art is a community cornerstone for collecting, preserving, sharing and celebrating the legacy of Claremont artists and their most significant and enduring work. It is also a catalyst for providing the community with excellence in art education at all levels. The Museum’s outreach program will promote learning by developing and providing specialized classes and lectures, a resource library, activities and events, visits to the schools, tours, and a wide assortment of print and on-line materials. The Claremont Museum of Art is a nonprofit California corporation, fully tax exempt under IRS code 501(c)(3).

Claremont Museum of Art Appoints William Moreno as Executive Director

Claremont, CA (December 11, 2006)—The Board of Trustees of the Claremont Museum of Art today announced the appointment of William Moreno as executive director. Moreno will lead efforts to establish the new museum, scheduled to open in early 2007 in the historic citrus Packing House, which is part of the west Village expansion project.

“After an extensive search for an executive director, I am very enthusiastic about the selection of Bill Moreno,” said Marguerite McIntosh, chairperson of the board of trustees. “With his background and interest in art, he is eminently gifted to develop the museum into an outstanding expression of our community’s unique cultural identity.”

Moreno, who previously served as executive director of The Mexican Museum in San  Francisco, brings a combination of business and arts experience to the Claremont Museum of Art. After spending 12 years in the international financial services industry, he established a fine arts consulting business and served as director of the Aguirre Gallery in San Mateo. During his three-year tenure as executive director of The Mexican Museum, he oversaw one of the largest collections of Latino and Mexican art in the country and headed a $30 million capital campaign to raise money for a new building in downtown San Francisco. Moreno is on the board of the California Association of Museums.

“Bill brings a firm foundation in the arts, a very successful track record in operating a museum and the business know-how we need to succeed financially,” said Frank Chabre, treasurer and museum trustee. “He also has demonstrated an ability to work with foundations, service groups, and governmental and educational agencies to develop successful initiatives and programs. We’re confident he’s going to do a great job in getting us up and running.”

Moreno said he looks forward to working with the board of trustees, volunteers and members of the community. “It’s not often you get an opportunity to help start a museum. What I’m most impressed with, and one of the reasons I wanted to come here, is the commitment of the board and the volunteer organizing committees – their enthusiasm and commitment is quite inspiring. They’ve worked hard to launch the museum and lay the groundwork for broad community involvement, which will be critical to our success.

“With our great space in the Packing House and location in the heart of Claremont near the Metrolink station and the colleges, we have the potential to become an important regional influence and an educational forum and center for all members of the community. We plan to embrace Claremont’s history in the arts, building on that tradition and ultimately working to expand the scope of the museum well beyond the region into the international arena.”

About the Claremont Museum of Art Opening Exhibitions

 The Claremont Museum of Art is scheduled to open early 2007 with a retrospective of the work of internationally renowned painter Karl Benjamin and an exhibition introducing art donated to the permanent collection.

A Conversation with Color: Karl Benjamin, Paintings 1953-1995 will feature nearly 40 paintings that trace the artist’s remarkable career, from his early experiments with cubism to works that represent his role as one of the founders of “abstract classicism.”

Art work donated to the permanent collection will be displayed in Building a Legacy: Founding a Museum, Building a Collection. The exhibition, which will highlight the origins of the museum, will present work by Millard Sheets, James Fuller, Jean Ames, Harrison McIntosh, Betty Davenport Ford, Phil Dike, Roland Reiss, Norm Hines, Milford Zornes, Jack Zajac and other notable local artists.

Housed in the historic Packing House in the west Village expansion, the museum has three exhibit areas, totaling 3,500 square feet, as well as a store, offices and a sculpture garden.

About the Museum

The Claremont Museum of Art is a community cornerstone for collecting, preserving, sharing and celebrating the legacy of Claremont artists and their most significant and enduring work. It is also a catalyst for providing the community with excellence in art education at all levels. The Museum’s outreach program will promote learning by developing and providing specialized classes and lectures, a resource library, activities and events, visits to the schools, tours, and a wide assortment of print and on-line materials. The Claremont Museum of Art is a nonprofit California corporation, fully tax exempt under IRS code 501(c)(3).

Claremont Museum of Art to Open With Exhibit by Painter Karl Benjamin

Claremont, CA (October 2, 2006)—The Claremont Museum of Art will open its doors to the public early next year with a retrospective of the work of internationally renowned painter Karl Benjamin. The Museum will also present “Building a Legacy,” an exhibition of art from the permanent collection.

Housed in the historic Claremont Packing House in the new Village expansion, the Museum will have three exhibit areas, totaling about 3,500 square feet, as well as a museum shop, offices and a space for classroom use, lectures and meetings. Representatives of the Museum last week signed a long-term lease with Arteco Partners, the developer and owner of the Packing House, located at First Street and Indian Hill Boulevard.

A Conversation with Color: Karl Benjamin, Paintings 1953-1995 is the first in a series of special one-person and group exhibitions planned for the new museum. Spanning five decades, the retrospective will include 45 to 50 works that trace Benjamin’s development as an artist, from a 1953 oil painting of Bud’s Bike Shop in Claremont to paintings of international significance that reflect his influence as one of the founders of abstract classicism.

“Karl Benjamin is a seminal figure in abstract classicism, more commonly known as ‘hard edge’ painting,” said Steve Comba, interim curator and registrar of the Museum. “Because of his inventive nature and intuitive, creative instincts, he became part of a group of artists who invented a new form of abstract painting in the early and mid fifties. In 1959, his work was part of a landmark exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that traveled to Europe and secured a national and international reputation for Benjamin.”

A resident of Claremont, Benjamin began painting in 1951 while working as a public school teacher. He became an artist-in-residence and professor of art at Pomona College in 1979 and was professor of art at the Claremont Graduate School from 1979 until his retirement in 1994. His paintings have been exhibited throughout the United States and are part of private and public collections that include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Artwork donated to the permanent collection will be displayed in “Building a Legacy,” an exhibition that will also highlight the origins of the museum. The collection, which is still being assembled, will feature significant work of leading artists and artisans who have a connection to Claremont.

“The permanent collection will run the gamut from traditional to experimental, from works on canvas and bronze to photography and new media to furniture and fine crafts. We want the Museum to fully reflect the diversity and variety of art in the region,” said Comba. A third exhibition area, still in the planning stages, will showcase experimental work and new media by local artists.

Museum organizers have set a fundraising goal of $1.2 million by the January opening, according to Frank Chabre, acting executive director and treasurer of the Museum. About $800,000 has been raised from businesses, civic clubs and individuals, including a major gift by an anonymous donor.

Gifts to the “Museum Builder Fund,” launched earlier this year, will help defray the cost of developing the collections and executing specific exhibitions, finishing the interior gallery spaces, administering operations and creating the educational programs.

About the Museum

The Claremont Museum of Art is a community cornerstone for collecting, preserving, sharing and celebrating the legacy of Claremont artists and their most significant and enduring work. It is also a catalyst for providing the community with excellence in art education at all levels. The Museum’s outreach program will promote learning by developing and providing specialized classes and lectures, a resource library, activities and events, visits to the schools, tours, and a wide assortment of print and on-line materials. The Claremont Museum of Art is a nonprofit California corporation, fully tax exempt under IRS code 501(c)(3).