San Diego Mission

  • Josephine Joy, San Diego Mission, ca. 1935-1939, oil on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from General Services Administration, 1971.447.45

Josephine Joy’s paintings combine direct observation and imaginative design. This is especially evident in this painting of the Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first of California’s twenty-one missions. Founded in 1769, the building underwent renovations in 1931. Certain features of San Diego Mission are drawn from the renovation, while others appear much older. The newly built bell tower contrasts with the cracked and exposed brick and the aged building to the right. Joy painted San Diego Mission while working with the WPA’s Southern California Art Project in Los Angeles from 1936 to 1939.
I love to paint in the open, sitting in some beautiful garden, hillside or remote place or in Balboa Park [in San Diego], where I had sketched many pictures … I paint from nature but occasionally I find myself designing.” The artist, quoted in Cat and a Ball on a Waterfall: 200 Years of California Folk Painting and Sculpture, 1986
San Diego Mission
ca. 1935-1939
Not on view
39 3448 in. (101.0122 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Transfer from General Services Administration

Mediums Description
oil on fiberboard
  • Landscape – California – San Diego
  • Architecture – religious – mission
  • New Deal – Works Progress Administration, Federal Art Project – California
  • Figure male – full length
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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