Mabel George Haig (1894 – 1977), and her husband Myron, moved to Whittier, California in 1914. Mabel pursued her art, becoming involved with the art colony in Laguna Beach. She became close friends with Anna Hills, who cofounded the Laguna Beach Art Association with Edgar Payne in 1918. Mabel exhibited at the Laguna Beach Art Gallery at least 28 times, beginning in 1921.
Mabel and Myron Haig spend the day “enjoying the beauties” of Laguna Beach.
The old hotel pavilion in Laguna Beach is being remodeled under the direction of Edgar Payne, “to meet the needs
of an exhibition”. It will be known as the Laguna Art Gallery”.
“In Laguna Beach…the old pavilion was converted to a gallery managed by the artists themselves…a permanent association has been formed.”
Laguna Beach Art Association members exhibit at the Whittier Woman’s club house. Artists include Anna Hills, Hanson Puthuff, Edgar Payne, Karl Yens, Guy Rose, Sam Hyde Harris, and others.
Mabel Haig exhibits her water color painting “Morning Mist” in a competitive exhibit at the Southwest Museum,
in Los Angeles.
Mabel George Haig is accepted as a member of the California Watercolor Society. She will exhibit with the group
in January at the Franklin Galleries in Hollywood.
Mabel Haig speaks about California Painters to a local women’s PEO group. The article mentions, “The fact that
Mrs. Haig is personally acquainted with many of these artists made it especially interesting. She predicted that California would some day be one of the great art centers of the world.”
Mabel Haig is honored as a finalist in a national House Beautiful Magazine cover design contest. “Her picture with others chosen for display, has been on exhibition at the Boston Public Library, and the Art Center in New York City, and will be shown in several other cities throughout the East, and in Chicago…”
Anna Hills of Laguna Beach teaches an art sketching class at the Whittier Woman’s club house. An exhibition and
tea are planned. “. . . Gentlemen will be welcomed at the exhibition.”
Thirty small water color paintings by Anna Hills and 100 sketches, the work of her sketch class students will be exhibited at the Whittier Woman’s clubhouse.
Anna Hills and her students exhibit at Whittier Woman’s clubhouse. Ten students, including Mrs. Myron J. Haig (Mabel Haig), exhibit water colors and oils.
Anna Hills, president of the Laguna Beach Art Association, teaches bi-monthly sketch class at the Whittier Woman’s club house.
Meeting called to form an Art Association.
Plans are made for the Pio Pico Mansion to become the home of the Whittier Art Gallery. Mrs. Myron Haig
“motors” with others to Laguna to seek advice from William Griffith. The Whittier Art Association opens a temporary gallery on Philadelphia Street in Whittier.
William A. Griffith, three times president of the Laguna Beach Art Association, exhibits his paintings at the
Whittier Art Gallery. Ruth Peabody exhibits her statuary.
Laguna Beach Art Association past president, William Griffith, spoke at the gallery’s open meeting. “He
encouraged the members of the Whittier [Art] Association in the belief that Whittier too, can be made an
important art and cultural center”. He went on to say, “I wish you all the luck in the world, and Laguna will do everything possible to help you”.
Laguna artists William Brandriff and Ida May Sharpless exhibit at the Whittier Art Gallery.
Edgar Payne paints a demonstration picture at the Whittier Art Gallery. He was the first president of the Laguna Beach Art Association, and he is “one of California’s most prominent painters.
Edgar Payne exhibits 36 canvases at the Whittier Art Gallery. More than 100 people watch his painting demonstration on opening night. His paintings “bring to Whittier all the light and color and grandeur of the wide-open spaces of many places”.
The California Water Color Society exhibits 60 watercolor paintings at the gallery. Among the exhibiting artists were: Phil Dike, Hardie Gramatky, Mabel George Haig, Eduard Vysekal, Donna Schuster, and Lucille Hinkle.
The South Coast News, announces that Whittier has organized an Art Association “for the whole surrounding community between Los Angeles and Laguna Beach”. The Association is sponsoring art classes in water color landscape by Mabel George Haig; life drawing by Eleanor Colburn, sculpture by Ruth Peabody, and pottery by
pupils of Glen Lukens.
Emil Kosa Jr. exhibits water color paintings and drawings at the gallery. Also exhibited are paintings by Alfred W. Johnston, sculpture by various artists, pottery by pupils of Glen Lukens, and pastels by Harry Muir Kurtzworth.
Mr. Kurtzworth is the director of the Los Angeles Art Association.
Mr. Kurtzworth, has served as curator of the Los Angeles Museum, is now the director of the Los Angeles Art Association. He speaks at the gallery’s open meeting. stating, “Your problem is to take Art to the people,
and later, the people will come to Art.”
Karl Yens exhibits paintings and prints. Water colors by Tom Lewis, sculpture by Sherry Peticolas, and wood
carving by Ruth Bennett. A competitive show for Whittier Art Association members will open November 15.
Conrad Buff exhibit features paintings and lithographs. He has painted the mountains of the Swiss Alps, Alaska, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, and California. Buff also painted a mural over the mantel in Whittier’s William Penn Hotel. Other exhibiting artists are Worden Bethell, Jason Herron, and Ruth Bennett.
Mr. R. F. James, illustrator from New York City, will speak on art from the standpoint of illustration. Exhibited are paintings and lithographs by Conrad Buff, paintings, pastels and water colors by Worden Bethell, sculpture by
Jason Herron, and carved wood panels by Ruth Bennett.
Otis Art Institute instructors, Mr. Roscoe Shrader and Edouard Vysekal, will speak at the Whittier Art Gallery.
Mr. Roscoe Shrader is president of the California Art Club, and Edouard Vysekal is a noted Southern California painter.
Mr. Roscoe Shrader, Dean of Otis Art Institute, speaks on the purpose and value of art. The artwork of
Miss. Dowiatt is exhibited. Popular prizes for the Whittier Art Association member’s competitive exhibit are awarded.
Forrest Randall “brings a cosmopolitan opportunity to Whittier for his water colors have been exhibited in the
Feragil galleries in New York, and his wall paper designs in the Waldorf Astoria in that city.”
Work on the first unit of the Whittier Art Gallery will commence tomorrow. Donor Fred L. Pease, architect
William Harrison, and contractor Raymond Hunnicutt will attend. The Art Association secured a site on Painter Avenue which is one of the most attractive streets and one of the main entrances of the city.
Ground breaking exercises were held at 727 South Painter Avenue, attended by Art Association members and representatives of leading civic organizations. Mrs. Mryon Haig, president of the Whittier Art Association, accepted the deed of the property on which would be built the new home of the Whittier Art Center. She turned at least one shovel of dirt to speed up the actual building work.
Note: The gallery’s original address of 727 So. Painter Ave. was changed to 8035 Painter Ave. in the 1960s.
Only the exterior of the gallery was completed until more funds were raised to complete the inside. “Friends of the Association” solicited funds. Whittier citizens who supported the cause are listed.
The Whittier Art Gallery was given warm support from the Whittier Woman’s Club, Jr. Woman’s Club, East Whittier Woman’s Club, the Business and Professional Woman’s Club, the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA), and organizations in every school district, covering the entire community. The town’s businessmen also contributed.
Mabel George Haig was invited to exhibit at the World’s Fair on Treasure Island.
Whittier artist Forrest Randall designs fabric for one of Scarlett O’Hara’s costumes worn in the motion picture
“Gone With the Wind”.
The gallery has been designed with “special lighting effects”, and the walls will be of burlap.
“The building has been so constructed that…a wing or wings may be added.”
New Building of Whittier Art Group to Open Tonight.
“All is in readiness for the opening tonight at 8 o’clock of the galleries of the Whittier Art Association, South Painter Avenue and Moorland Drive. Members of the organization, aided by loyal friends, have labored months towards this achievement.”
An oil painting, nearly 400 years old, is discovered in an East Whittier home. The painting by Venetian master,
Paris Bordone, had once hung in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and had not been seen by the
public for over 35 years. The painting was shown at the Whittier Art Gallery and the public was invited to hear
a special lecture.
Art critic, Philip A. Ramus, the fine arts connoisseur of London and Hollywood, will speak about the Paris Bordone painting.
Painting of Renaissance painter, Paris Bordone, is displayed at the Whittier Art Gallery. The painting is valued at $125,000.
Visitors from London and eight states come to view the 400 year old Renaissance painting by Paris Bordone.
Rex Brandt and other artists from the Progressive Art Center of Southern California, exhibit “modern” paintings at the Gallery. Young artist Rex Brandt, became a nationally recognized artist and Associate of the National Academy
of Design. He returned to have a solo exhibit at the Whittier Art Gallery in December of 1957.
Paintings by conservative painters, Hanson Puthuff, Katheryn Leighton, Jessie Botke, William Wendt, Clyde Forsythe, George Brandriff, William Ritschel, Jack W. Smith, Carl Borg, and others, are exhibited. The paintings
were sent from the Biltmore Salon In Los Angeles.
Mrs. Haig, “dean of Whittier artists,” exhibits water colors.
Wayne Long is known widely through out California for his ceramic work. He is president of the Whittier Art Association.
The Whittier Art Association begins their annual Membership Drive, remembering their first year in the gallery
they built on Painter Ave.
Architect William Harrison exhibits his drawings and photographs. It was W.H. Harrison that donated the plans
for the Whittier Art Gallery in 1938.
Ejnar Hanson exhibits oil paintings and watercolors. He is president of the California Water Color Society, and has been represented in both the New York and San Francisco World Fairs.
Architect William Harrison, who donated the plans for the Whittier Art Gallery in 1938, is praised by the
𝘈𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘌𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘳 𝘔𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘦.
Paintings by Millard Sheets, Edgar Payne, Marian Kavanagh Wachtel, Anna Hills, and Paul Lauritz have been
loaned for the gallery’s exhibit of “Art Gems”. Mabel Haig is chairman of the committee in charge.
Loan exhibit opens with 35 oil and water color paintings by American, Canadian, and European artists.
Pruett Carter, illustrator, exhibits illustrations from such magazines as 𝘈𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘯, 𝘔𝘤 𝘊𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘴, and 𝘓𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘏𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘑𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘭.
He is considered as “one of the top ranking Illustrators for popular magazines”.
A Proclamation of the Mayor of Whittier urges all citizens to enroll as members of the Whittier Art Association.
This article appeared on the newspaper’s front page, five weeks before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Millard Sheets attends a dinner party before his evening as a guest speaker at the Whittier Art Gallery.
Mabel Haig studied with Millard Sheets in 1930.
An exhibit of work by the late Eleanor Colburn features her Modern Madonna paintings. The exhibit was
scheduled to open on Sunday, December 7th, at 3:00 pm. Pearl Harbor was bombed at 10:00 am that morning,
and the whole town of Whittier was locked down.
Edgar Payne exhibits oil paintings. He is the author of 𝘍𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘈𝘳𝘵, and 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘖𝘶𝘵𝘥𝘰𝘰𝘳 𝘗𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨
(published 1941). He is “one of the best known American artists…”.
Edgar Payne attends his reception at the Whittier Art Gallery where his large paintings of Arizona scenes, studies
of the High Sierras, and Mediterranean seascapes are exhibited.
Art Association provides pot luck dinner with bargain cafeteria price of only five cents per serving.
The association will furnish coffee, strawberries and sugar (These would be welcomed words during this time of
war rationing of sugar).
Ten nationally-known artists exhibited during the gallery’s 1941-1942 year. There were two member’s competitive exhibits.
Chouinard Art Institute exhibits the artwork of 14 advanced students in the main gallery. Mabel George Haig
exhibits water colors in the small gallery, reserved for Whittier Art Association members. In her paintings
Petunias, The Pink Boat, and Not a Throughfare are among her paintings on display.
Mabel Haig exhibits water colors in group exhibit. She has exhibited at the Dalzell Hatfield Galleries in Los Angeles.
Note: The Dalzell Hatfield Galleries in Los Angeles were located in the elegant Ambassador Hotel.
Lt. Arthur Beaumont exhibits his paintings at the Whittier Art Gallery through August, 1942. He speaks at an open meeting, giving a “witty and entertaining account of painting the “great flying fortresses, or B-17s”.
Clyde Forsythe “one of America’s great desert painters, spoke on “the qualities which make a picture great”.
He is a personal friend of American illustrator, Norman Rockwell.
E. Roscoe Shrader, Dean of Otis Art Institute, will speak at the gallery. “An additional attraction will be the showing
of a colored film of art students at work at Otis”. The current exhibit is student work from Otis.
Otis Art Institute sends Traveling Exhibitions to Army bases and provides art kits to young artists in the service. Excerpts of servicemen’s letters were read at the gallery’s open meeting.
The Art Association…will present to the public, “two internationally famous artists, Clyde Forsythe and Dean Cornwall”, who will speak at the open meeting. Dean Cornwall recently finished the murals in the Los Angeles
Public Library. While living in LA, Dean Cornwall shares Clyde Forsythe’s studio.
Clyde Forsythe and Dean Cornwall use “humor, wit, and gay banter” as they engage in an impromptu debate on commercial art verses pure art.
Clyde Forsythe, Dean Cornwall, and Ralph Holmes served as judges for the October, 1943 member’s competitive exhibit. Ralph Holmes served as president of the California Art Club from 1939 to 1941.
Art Landy’s painting, 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘙𝘦𝘥 𝘊𝘢𝘳, receives first place in water colors. “The Red Car” creator must have hunted diligently through all California to find the ugliest combination of hill, houses, fence and vegetation, and then stuck a sadly drawn electric car with a gigantic power pole thrust up its middle smack in the center of the hill of horrors…”
Sam Hyde Harris exhibits 17 of his oil paintings. At the open meeting, he painted a Demonstration picture of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Ida O’Keeffe attended the presentation and helped serve refreshments.
Paul Lauritz exhibits 13 large oil paintings in the main floor gallery. He will demonstrate Charcoal drawing at an upcoming open meeting.
An exhibit of paintings of New Guinea by Whittier Art Association Past President Wayne Long, is planned.
Katheryn Leighton’s oil paintings are reviewed by Sam Hyde Harris at the Gallery’s open meeting. He comments on her drawing skill and her use of color and value. She has painted over 700 paintings of Indians, showing the esteem
of her Indian friends. “She has been made an honorary member of the Blackfoot Tribe of Montana”.
Conrad Buff exhibits paintings and lithographs at the Whittier Art Gallery. His paintings hang in the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Chicago Art Institute, the Los Angeles Museum, and the San Diego Museum.
The Whittier Art Association celebrated the end of their gallery’s mortgage debt on May 14, 1945. The Whittier News article shared the following:
“Perhaps more than any one other person responsible for the [Art] Association was Mrs. Myron J. Haig whose untiring efforts to have all debts paid this year were brought to a successful close when Mr. Fries held a match to the mortgage last evening”.
Ida O’Keeffe exhibits realistic and abstract oil paintings in the main floor (large) gallery. Water colors and oils by Phillipa Mansur are shown in the “annex”, a small gallery space usually reserved for the artwork of local, emerging artists.
Nelbert Chouinard, director and founder of the Chouinard Art Institute, came to speak at the Whittier Art Gallery. She “predicted tremendous strides for art in the Post-War world.”
Millard Sheets, Dan Lutz, Etinne Ret, Clarence Hinkle, Russell Clowels, Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Grigory Gluckman, and *Rubin exhibit paintings loaned by the Dalzell Hatfield Galleries. The paintings in the exhibit are valued at $200,000.
*[Believed to be Reuven (Zelicovici) Rubin (1893-1974)]
Ralph Hulett exhibits California landscapes and marines. He studied four years at Chouinard Art Institute. S. McDonald Wright, Script Magazine writer, wrote:
“Ralph Hulett’s watercolors exemplify the best pictorial methods of what has now come
to be called the California School.”
Tyrus Wong exhibits watercolors at the gallery during September, 1947. He was Production illustrator for Walt Disney’s Bambi, working at the Disney Studios from 1938-1941. He was an illustrator for Warner Brothers Studios during World War II. By 1947, Tyrus Wong was devoting all of his time to painting.
The Artist’s Guild of Southern California, Traveling Exhibit exhibited the paintings of artists with club affiliations
with the California Art Club, the California Water Color Society, The American Artist’s Professional League, the Laguna Beach Art Association, and the Whittier Art Association. The “oils and water colors exhibited in both
modern and conservative styles of technique are shown”.
Tyrus Wong, Ralph Hulett, and Davis Miller are selected for the Whittier Art Association Member’s Show jury. The Whittier Art Gallery showed the artwork of Whittier Art Association members in a competitive exhibit twice each year. The Exhibits were juried by a group of three know as “the Jury of Selection”, and the “Jury of Awards”, a group
of three professional artists, chose the award winners. Most of the Jury of Awards judges had previously had solo shows at the gallery.
Loren Barton, nationally known artist and art instructor faculty member, teaches oil and water color painting
at the Whittier Art Gallery. Her paintings are represented by the Dalzell Hatfield Galleries in L.A.’s
The California Water Color Society exhibits 30 paintings at the gallery in March of 1948. The exhibit, is unit of the California Water Color Society’s Traveling Show. Some of the exhibiting artists are, Milford Zornes, Tyrus Wong, Robert Kennicott, and Phil Dike. Phil Dike speaks at the opening reception. His talk is titled,
“California Water Color Painting”.
Milford Zornes exhibits oils, tempera and water color paintings in his one-man show at the Whittier Art Gallery.
He will be the guest speaker at the gallery’s open meeting.
Milford Zornes was Water Color Society President, 1941 – 1942.
Art Landy and other prominent Southern California artists will be teaching art classes for children free of charge. More than 400 children are signed up for the art classes.
Mabel Haig speaks at the Whittier Art Gallery about “The History of the Laguna Beach Art Association”. She “recounted meaningful memories” about the first Laguna Beach Art Gallery located behind the old Laguna Hotel.
Norman Rockwell’s drawings and paintings are shown in the small gallery, and the paintings of Joseph Mugnaini
are shown in the main floor gallery. Mugnaini, is an instructor at Otis Art Institute, and a good friend of
Note: The Whittier Art Association & Gallery Archives holds the inventory sheet of Norman Rockwell’s artwork
that hung in this April, 1950 exhibit.
The Whittier Art Associations Art Fair was held under the trees behind the gallery building. Artist members demonstrated several media including water color painting, by Mabel Haig, woodcarving by Cloudsley French,
and weaving by Glen Nelson. Ida O’Keeffe visited the event, and can be seen in the center of the newspaper photo.