Imagine this: you are seated with hundreds of other expectant tourists, locals, visitors and guests in the Laguna Beach, CA amphitheater on a cool dark summer's night. All eyes are on the curtained stage with occasional glimpses up into the dark shadows of ledges and outcroppings. The nights dim, the music begins, the curtain swings open and with a collective gasp you realize you are looking at a life-size rendition of a master painting, maybe a Dresden china figurine or even an etched glass vase. It's the product of the magical art event known as The Pageant of the Masters.
What started as a publicity stunt in the 1930's to bring visitors and money to this tiny artists' enclave has grown to an annual dedicated sold-out extravaganza of larger-than-life art reproductions staffed by volunteers who vie for a spot in any of the staged works.
Take a look at some of the reproductions and read the enchanting history in Sam Anderson's article in the Sunday NYTimes Magazine dated 14 September 2014: "For Art's Sake." If you find yourself in SoCal during the high season summer months, this event is worth battling traffic to sit and be amazed at how the eye makes art out of what is essentially fakery.