(PASADENA, Nov. 4, 2010) - The Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) will present Scenic View Ahead: The Westways Cover Art Program, 1928-1981, one of the largest exhibitions of works from the Westways cover art program ever mounted. The cover art program began in 1928, with the Automobile Club of Southern California commissioning paintings from major artists working in Southern California for the cover of each new issue of its member magazine. With 44 artworks on view, the PMCA’s exhibition traces prominent stylistic movements of the twentieth century, such as California watercolor, Pop Art and assemblage art.
Started in 1909, Westways was originally called Touring Topics. One of its early editors, Phil Townsend Hanna began the program to commission art in 1928. His move reflected a shift in the magazine’s content from automobile-related topics to a broader examination of cultural and recreational activities. The magazine’s covers were also intended to mirror the breadth of interests and backgrounds of its readers, the Auto Club members.
Scenic View Ahead features the work of plein air masters Alson Clark, Maynard Dixon, John Frost and Donna Schuster, as well as renowned watercolorists Rex Brandt, Phil Dike and Maurice Logan. In its final decades, the cover art program expanded its scope to include graphic artists such as Jan Sawka and Merle Shore, who designed posters, album covers, and sets for films and theater, as well as illustrators like Paul Hogarth. Although the magazine turned to photography for its covers after 1981, the remarkable original works of art that were created during the program offer an artistic and cultural journey through the region’s history.
This exhibition is organized by the PMCA in cooperation with the Automobile Club of Southern California, and is curated by Matthew W. Roth and Morgan P. Yates.
WESTWAYS magazine celebrated its centennial in 2009 as Southern California’s longest continuously published magazine. Today, it has the 10th largest circulation of all magazines in the nation. Published by the Auto Club for its members, WESTWAYS serves 8 million readers as the region’s premier lifestyle magazine and is a significant voice in local and regional affairs.
The museum is at 490 East Union Street, one block north of Colorado Blvd. between Los Robles Ave. and Oakland Ave. in Pasadena. Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Auto Club members will receive $2 off all tickets to the Museum, a ten percent discount on non-consignment merchandise at the Museum store and a twenty percent discount on the membership fee for the first year of membership in the Museum. Phone 626-568-3665 and online at http://www.pmcaonline.org.