Artist of the Pines: Tsuyoshi Matsumoto

Special Collections & Archives Exhibition

April 10, 2017 – May 26, 2017    Geisel Library, 2nd (main) floor

Exhibition Reception

Tuesday, April 18, 2017    5 – 7 PM  ● Geisel Library, Seuss Room

Countless artists have been inspired over the last century by the distinctive beauty of the magnificent Torrey pines—the world’s rarest pine tree—at the 1,500 acre Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, San Diego’s most treasured coastal park. Of the many plein air artists to capture images of the trees and the park, Tsuyoshi Matsumoto—known as Mat—stands out, not just for the particular beauty of his sketches, but also for the devotion and attention he gave to his subject matter.

In a collaboration between the UC San Diego Library and the artist’s daughter, La Jolla resident Helen Kagan, a selection of Mat’s drawings and sketch books is now on display in Geisel Library’s West Wing. A self-taught artist, Mat began drawing pine trees in the late 1960’s. After visiting La Jolla and the Reserve when he was looking for a place to retire, the trees and the park made an indelible impression on him, and in 1973, he moved his family to La Jolla. Over the next decade and in the years preceding his death in 1982, Mat was a frequent visitor to the Reserve, producing some 800 drawings of Torrey pines, trees that he clearly worshipped and had a special affinity with. The pine tree has a favored status in Japanese culture, symbolizing good luck and longevity—and, furthermore, “Matsumoto” means “root of the pine.”

6 comments for “Artist of the Pines: Tsuyoshi Matsumoto”

On April 11, 2017, 1:55 PM Leslie Roe said:

Dear Event Planner:

I want attend the “Artist of the Pines” opening reception on 4/18/17 at Geisel Library. Can you handle my R.S.V.P.? I appreciate your help.


Leslie Roe

On April 11, 2017, 2:31 PM Kolupailo, Nicole said:

Hi Leslie,

Thank you for your note. No RSVPs are required for this event. Feel free to stop by the reception at any time between 5 and 7 PM that evening.

On April 30, 2017, 10:42 PM Joanne Bright said:

I would like to see the exhibit- what are the hours and where can I park and how do I find the library??? Thankyou.

On May 2, 2017, 9:49 AM Kolupailo, Nicole said:

Hi Joanne – thanks for your inquiry. The Artist of the Pines exhibit is available to view in Geisel Library during the building’s open hours, which can be found at The closest parking to Geisel Library is the Hopkins parking structure. Click here to view a map of the parking structure and its proximity to Geisel Library. More information about parking rates on campus can be found at:

On May 7, 2017, 12:28 AM Andy Gibbs said:

Is there a way i access the digital version of this collection?

On May 15, 2017, 9:52 AM Kolupailo, Nicole said:

Hi Andy, unfortunately this collection has not been digitized so it can’t be viewed online. The exhibit will be on display in Geisel Library through the end of the month in case you are local and are able to come by to see it.

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