Charles Reiffel, An American Post-Impressionist

November 10, 2012 to March 31, 2013
Charles Reiffel, San Diego Museum of Art, plein air, American post impressionist

The San Diego Museum of Art and the San Diego History Center present a comprehensive and collaborative, two-museum retrospective of the work of Charles Reiffel celebrating the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth.

Charles Reiffel: An American Post-Impressionist opened on Saturday, November 10 at both museums. More than 90 of Reiffel’s works are exhibited; primarily oils on canvas but also watercolors, gouaches, and drawings in both pencil and children’s crayons.

During his lifetime, Reiffel’s work was exhibited throughout the country, winning many national awards and the accolades of critics who compared him to John Henry Twachtman, and referred to Reiffel as the “American van Gogh.” Many San Diego collectors were more cautious, considering him “too modern” in relation to his California contemporaries. The rise of the American avant garde movement in the early twentieth century further overshadowed Reiffel’s legacy. 

This is the most important exhibition of Reiffel’s work since Second Nature, curated by Martin Petersen more than twenty years ago, and the first major retrospective of the artist’s work since his death in 1942.