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Pavilion Memories


Janet & Mark Hilbert Collection

May 1, 2013 – April 30, 2014

This is a very exciting year for the Newport Beach Public Library. The City Arts Commission and Board of Library Trustees are pleased to exhibit a rare compilation of California Scene Paintings from the collection of longtime Newport Beach residents,  Mark and Jan Hilbert. The Hilberts have offered to share these glimpses into early California with the exceptional paintings of artists Millard Sheets, Phil Dike, Roger Kuntz, George James, Emil Kosa and Rex Brandt at the Newport Beach Central Library.

The current exhibit which will be on display until February 20, 2014 features six watercolors by Millard Sheets, one of the best known California Scene painters, whose charisma, charm, and raw talent propelled the California School into the national spotlight.

 Two Ladies with fruit baskets

Millard Owen Sheets

“Good design is a great combination of common sense, unusual imagination, clarity of purpose - with a prerequisite knowledge of structure, values, color, aesthetic insight and a deep reverence for the love of life.”    - Millard Sheets

Born in Pomona, California, Millard Owen Sheets was considered to be the driving force behind the revival of watercolor in California. He viewed the medium’s quick drying, fast moving qualities as both artistically liberating and an apt reflection of the mood of a modernizing nation. Sheets’ watercolors depict urban and rural people in humble everyday life, in landscapes and scenes inspired by California.

Although he is arguably the greatest California watercolorist, his talents went beyond painting. After receiving his degrees and serving in WWII, he developed large public works through his studio for architectural design. His projects included the mosaic dome and chapel at the National Shrine in Washington DC, the mosaic library tower at the University of Notre Dame, the mosaic facade of the Detroit Public Library, mural at the Rainbow Tower of the Hilton Hotel in Honolulu, and murals for the Los Angeles City Hall.  Sheets designed artistic decoration for the Offices of Home Savings of America branches throughout California, until his death in 1989. These prominent commissions earned Sheets, who was also a member of the National Academy of Design, decorated distinction as a design visionary.

For more information on Millard Sheets and California Scene Painting:



Motorola Radio


Wireless Works of Art


The Newport Beach City Arts Commision present and exhibit of vintage table-top radios from the collection of longtime Newport Beach residents, Janet and Mark Hilbert. The exhibit showcases classic designs from the Hilbert’s collection of over 150 table top and 50 transistor radios dating from 1932 to 1965. Among the radios on display are a Packard Bell Stationized Clock Radio, showing regional radio stations on the dial, a 1951 Airline model featuring  Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer, a radio resembling a Coca-Cola ice box, a mid-century Motorola tube radio and a stunning black and silver art deco design.

Collecting old radios came naturally to Mark Hilbert, whose parents owned a Pasadena appliance store that was the first in town to carry the RCA transistor radio.  "The automobile and the radio were the two greatest design venues from the '30s to the '50s," he says. "In those days, companies like RCA, Motorola, Warner, GE, Zenith and Philco hired the greatest industrial designers in the world to design their radios. Manufacturers knew they would sell better if they were unique and attractive."

Last updated: 11/25/2013 4:38:55 PM