Joan Irvine Smith Estate Paintings

As a young child, Joan Irvine Smith spent countless hours exploring the Irvine Ranch in Orange County, California, where she developed her deep love of nature. An artist herself, she became drawn to California plein air paintings, which are painted outdoors, and focus on the use of color and light. Her collection, which would come to number over 4,000 paintings over her lifetime, spanned multiple generations of California artists, who captured the beauty of the landscapes of California from times past.

Mrs. Smith founded the Irvine Museum in 1993. She believed the museum’s art would provide the public with a view into the natural beauty of California’s past, and could also provide a platform to educate visitors of all ages on the importance of preserving our natural habitats. The Irvine Museum’s collection of over 1,200 pieces was recently gifted to the University of California, Irvine, where it will continue to be exhibited and enjoyed for years to come.

Through the sponsorship of numerous art competitions and exhibits across Southern California, Mrs. Smith supported the current generation of up-and-coming California plein air artists, and she would often purchase best-of-show pieces from these events.

Although no longer with us, Joan Irvine Smith’s memory lives on through her collection of plein air art. Some of her finest pieces, from many of California’s best contemporary plein air artists, are now available for your consideration and purchase from K. Nathan Gallery.