Even though there is little public art in San Juan, the Mission San Juan Capistrano has long been an artist's haven. The Mission is a plein-air artist's paradise, some say it rivals the scenery of Monet's Gardens at Giverny. This "Jewel of the Missions" is said to be the most painted structure in the West. One of the gems that this historic treasure has inspired is " Jewel of San Juan Capistrano" by local artist, Toni Danchik.

Reproduction prints of this image can be ordered directly from Tony Danchik. Many artists have painted Mission Scenes long before "Jewel of San Juan Capistrano" was created. Following is an historical view of many of these artistic activities:

In the early 20th century, local artists created small paintings depicting Mission San Juan Capistrano and sold them to tourists on the grounds. After that time, besides exhibits in nearby art galleries, the last meaningful indoor San Juan Capistrano exhibits featuring living and historic artists were held in the late 1990s through the early 2000s at the Mission. The most notable was Romance of the Bells, organized as a partnership between the Irvine Museum and the Mission. 

Later exhibits were based on paint-outs featuring California Art Club members, plus other exhibits featuring other associations and individual artists with diverse subject matter. The Mission hosted its exhibits - other than Romance of the Bells -  in its historic Soldier's Barracks, and another exhibit room within the central arcade.

In addition, the predecessor of Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano hosted unique outdoor exhibits, the first being held in August 1992, with sponsorship by Joan Irvine Smith. They featured early California (e.g. 1900-1920) impressionist art for sale by leading Southern California dealers."

There have been hundreds if not thousands of paintings of the Mission and they are continuing to this day. Following are more samples of beautiful art by painters of the past.
Mision San Juan de Capistrano 1880
"Old Mission" 1924 by William Henry Von Herwig

Traditional Fine Arts Organization Inc. is a comprehensive resource for impressionist American Art. The links in the above paragraphs give direct access to resources such as Romance of the Missions and many other significant historical narratives and images of the Mission San Juan Capistrano. For a more general view of this vast resource of art, go to tfaoi.org.

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TASJA welcomes donations to commission artworks with historic themes for placement throughout downtown.
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