Story submitted by the Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters:
This past June, Laguna Art Museum presented a gift of four original photographs by Paul Outerbridge to the Festival of Arts. Paul Outerbridge was an exhibitor at the Festival in the early 1950s and his work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution and the Getty Museum. The photographs, all from 1950-51, were identified as relating to the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. Three of the photographs depicted Pageant tableaux vivants, whereas the fourth was a portrait, in his studio, of Roy Ropp, artist and considered the Father of the Pageant of the Masters.
But the story does not end here, due to a cosmic chance occurrence. Upon reading an article about this generous gift in the fall LAM Magazine, Michael Gosselin realized that he owned the painting depicted behind Roy Ropp in the donated Outerbridge photograph. Being a part of the Laguna community, knowledgeable of the significance of Roy Ropp to Laguna Beach and the Festival of Arts; he immediately contacted the Festival and asked if there was any interest to add this painting to the Festival’s Permanent Art Collection.
“Without hesitation, we jumped at this amazing opportunity to accept this Roy Ropp painting entitled, ‘Newport Fish Harbor,’” remarked Festival Board Member Tom Lamb.
The Ropp painting, recently conserved by Susan Brown, and the framed Outerbridge photograph were on display at the Festival of Arts Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 14th. At the meeting, Michael Gosselin was also recognized for his contribution to the Festival’s Permanent Art Collection.
“This donation holds a unique historic significance, as it links both the art show and the Pageant. It is must be fate that the painting was donated as we wrap up the Festival’s 80th anniversary and begin celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Pageant of the Masters,” Lamb said. “We can’t begin to thank Michael enough.”