Special Collections & Archives Exhibition
April 10, 2017 – May 26, 2017
● Geisel Library, 2nd (main) floor
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.”