May 25 – August 20, 2023
The Bruton Sisters: Modernism in the Making explores the artistic innovations of the Bruton sisters—Margaret, Esther, and Helen. The Brutons’ innovative use of materials, creative approach to design, and collaborative process contributed to the advancement of modern art in California. Active from the 1920s through the 1960s, the Brutons embraced a modernist aesthetic, which was characterized by a movement toward abstraction, experimentation with new techniques and materials, and the desire to meld art and life. Each sister pushed boundaries in her chosen medium, yet the Brutons also worked together on large-scale public art commissions.
The selection of their rarely exhibited paintings, prints, mosaics, terrazzos, and archival materials—paired with art by their Californian contemporaries—demonstrates the Bruton sisters’ impact. Featuring works from museums and private collections, this exhibition is the culmination of new research into the lives and careers of these previously overlooked women artists.
Exhibition organized by UCI Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art. Curated by Wendy Van Wyck Good.
Image: Margaret Bruton, Helen at Sargent House Studio, circa 1920, oil on canvas, 40 x 34 in. The Buck Collection at UCI Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art. ©️ Bruton Family Archive, courtesy of Barbara Carroll.