Milton Wichner Collection
February 19, 2015
The Milton Wichner Collection at the Long Beach Museum of Art illuminates a significant aspect of art history in Southern California. In the 1930s and ‘40s, Southern California became a creative refuge for European artists fleeing the ravages of World War II. Milton Wichner arrived in Los Angeles in 1936 to set up his law practice. His interest in European modern abstraction was intensified upon meeting Galka Scheyer, a representative of the artists Oskar Fischinger, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Wassily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger, and Alexej Jawlensky. At Scheyer’s exhibitions, Wichner saw contemporary European Modernists paintings on the west coast for the first time. Scheyer’s efforts to interest Southern Californians in this work met with minimal success at the time, but Wichner was convinced and was especially enthusiastic about the colorful work of Jawlensky. With this exhibition, the Museum welcomes back five striking paintings by Jawlensky that have been on loan to the Getty Museum since 2011.