The Leatherby Libraries is excited to announce a new artwork installation on the library’s first floor. Thanks to a generous gift from Trustee Emeritus Joann Leatherby, 12 intricate copper engravings of famous Orange County Historical Sites and Scenes are now on display. According to our Coordinator of Special Collections, Lauren McDaniel, these prints are from a commissioned series of 15, made in 1975 by local artist Scott FitzGerald.
Scott FitzGerald is a Southern California painter and printmaker who studied contemporary art and photography at California State University, Fullerton. Early in his career, FitzGerald established himself with individual copper plate etchings that depict 15 Orange County historical landmarks. His collaborative work has produced illustrations in etchings with science fiction writer Ray Bradbury and printer John Randle. In the late 1980s he began to paint in oil, creating landscapes that have been compared to the Hudson River School and American Luminists. Azusa Pacific University owns four of FitzGerald’s oil paintings.
In depicting these well-known area landmarks, FitzGerald “attempted to capture a part of the past for the sake of the future.” He used the painstaking medium of copper plate etching, commonly considered antiquated, to convey the subjects’ historical and transitory nature. The views in these prints—some of which already no longer existed by the 1970s—include: the Orange Traffic Circle; the Red Cross House in Anaheim; the Eddie Martin Airport and Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana; the Whitaker-Jaynes House in Buena Park; the Fullerton Police Station; the Key Ranch in Placentia; Dana Point; the Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach; the Big Red Car on the Newport-Balboa line; and the Capistrano Station and Rios Adobe in San Juan Capistrano.
Pictured: Trustee Emeritus Joann Leatherby with some of the artwork. Monday, March 13, 2023