Marcia Hafif, 1929-2018.
The news of Marcia Hafif’s death has saddened us all. She was a good friend to the museum, and in 2015 we had the privilege of presenting an exhibition of her paintings. Marcia considered an exhibition to be a work of art in itself, and the experience of discussing, designing, installing, and lighting the show, along with the production of the accompanying book, was an education in the aesthetics of perfection. Knowing and working closely with an artist of her stature was an honor made all the more memorable by her graciousness, her humor, and the sheer liveliness of her mind. Although she made her reputation on the east coast and in Europe, we have reason to be proud of this celebrated artist who grew up in Laguna Beach and returned to live here, largely under the radar, for the last twenty years of her life. She loved Laguna, and the natural beauty of the place was an important source of inspiration for her art. “Walking often on the shore,” she wrote, “I was influenced by the colors of the sea, the sky and the sand, by the seashells and seaweed, the dark clouds over the horizon in the evening, the shining colors reflected in the sand as the waves fell back.”