University of California, Riverside

Palm Desert Center

Palm Desert Art Documentary Series

Palm Desert Art Documentary Series 2014-2015

Our 2014-2015 season has ended. Check back in December 2015 for the 2015-2016 schedule. This series is a partnership between UCR Palm Desert and the City of Palm Desert's Public Art Department, featuring many memorable community works from all over the globe. These free movies are screened on the third Thursday of the month and are open to the public.


April 16: Tim's Vermeer

Tim Jenison, a Texas based inventor, attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: How did 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer manage to paint so photo-realistically, 150 years before the invention of photography? The epic research project Jenison embarks on to test his theory is as extraordinary as what he discovers. This is a Penn & Teller Film, produced by Penn Jillette, 2013. Q&A to followed with Lisa Soccio, assistant professor/gallery director at College of the Desert.

March 19: The Gateway Arch: A Reflection of America

From Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and St. Louis' role in westward expansion to the construction of the largest stainless steel structure in history, this movie chronicles for the first time the complete story of a great American symbol -- the Gateway Arch. Featuring newly discovered construction footage, rare photographs of westward expansion, and early conceptual drawings, this movie presents a message of optimism, the human capacity to pursue dreams and America's ability to achieve great things. The film is narrated by academy award-winner Kevin Kline. Q&A followed.

Feb. 19: Ginny Ruffner: A Not So Still Life

"A Not So Still Life" peers into the kaleidoscopic mind of Ginny Ruffner, an artist as beloved for her magnanimous spirit as for her evolving "visual thought experiments." Director Karen Stanton explores the full span of Ginny's fascinating journey, from her childhood in South Carolina to her emergence as a world-renowned artist. Meet the luminaries in her orbit and witness Ginny's determination to recover from the accident that nearly claimed her life but barely even slowed her constant reinvention of the world around her. Q&A followed with Ginny Ruffner and Karen Stanton, director and director of photography for the film.

Jan. 15: "Morris Louis: The Life and Art of One of America's Greatest Twentieth Century Abstract Artists" and "Lyon Housemuseum"

"Morris Louis: The Life and Art of One of America's Greatest Twentieth Century Abstract Artists" is a rarely seen documentary that chronicles the life and work of Morris Louis, a prolific painter whose work provides a link between Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting. His mature style is among the most recognizable of the Color Field painters and is characterized by layered rainbows of acrylic paint, poured down huge, blank canvases.

"Lyon Housemuseum" (short film) explores a private house and art collection located east of Melbourne, Australia in a residential suburb.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

UCR Palm Desert Center
75080 Frank Sinatra Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92211

Tel: (760) 834-0800
Fax: (760) 834-0796

Related Links