A recognized authority on California Impressionism, Art Historian Jean Stern has extensive experience in the field as an author, curator, lecturer, and teacher. He is the executive director of the Irvine Museum Collection at the University of California, Irvine. In over twenty-five years at the museum, he has established a national presence for the Irvine Museum in the fields of California Art and History through a noteworthy international series of books, exhibitions, lectures, articles and video documentaries. In his career, he has presented over 250 lectures and judged and juried nearly 100 art competitions.
Mr. Stern has written essays for over 25 books and museum exhibition catalogues, such as all three PLEIN AIR PAINTERS OF CALIFORNIA series of books; GUY ROSE: American Impressionist; ENCHANTED ISLE: A History of Painting on Santa Catalina Island; FRANZ A. BISCHOFF: The Life and Art of an American Master, 2010; CALIFORNIA LIGHT: One Hundred Years of the California Art Club, with Molly Siple, 2011; ART OF THE NATIONAL PARKS, with Susan Hallsten McGarry and Terry Lawson Dunn, 2013; WINDOWS IN TIME: The Hilbert Collection of California Scene Painting, 2016; and PAINTING CALIFORNIA co-authored with Molly Siple, 2017.
Mr. Stern has presented tours and lectures on California Art in numerous museum including the International Cultural Center, Krakow, Poland; Mona Bismarck Foundation in Paris, France; National Academy Museum in New York; Terra Museum in Chicago; Los Angeles County Art Museum; the Mission San Juan Capistrano; San Diego Museum of Art; Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Gibbes Museum in Charleston; Brigham Young University Museum; Autry National Western Heritage Center; The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and many others. He was a consultant to and appears in IMPRESSIONS OF CALIFORNIA, a PBS documentary video series on art in California, and on PLEIN AIR: PAINTING THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE, (PBS 2007).
Since 1992, the Irvine Museum with Jean Stern as director, has produced a number of traveling exhibitions, including SELECTIONS FROM THE IRVINE MUSEUM (1993 and 2010); ROMANCE OF THE BELLS, The California Missions in Art (1995); GUY ROSE, AMERICAN IMPRESSIONIST (1995-1996), CALIFORNIA IMPRESSIONISTS (1996, an official event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games Cultural Olympiad); IMPRESSIONS OF CALIFORNIA (1996), accompanied by a PBS documentary series and MASTERS OF LIGHT (2002) the first international traveling exhibition of California Impressionist paintings, shown in Paris, Krakow, and Madrid.
In 2017, Mr. Stern received the prestigious CHEVALIER OF THE ORDER OF ARTS AND LETTERS by the French Ministry of Culture. He has also been presented with three LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: by the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association in 2013; by the Plein Air Painters of America in 2014; and by PLEIN AIR MAGAZINE, at the Third Annual Plein Air Convention in Monterey, CA, in 2014.