Current Exhibitions

Moulton Museum has a yearly exhibit in our main gallery and a quarterly rotation in Nellie’s Gallery. See our displays that showcase art and history in the context of Moulton Ranch. Ask us about our artist-in-residence program for Nellie’s Gallery. We will be partnering with local artists starting in 2023.

1874: Into the West

1874 was a historic year for the nation. It marked the opening of the Southern Pacific Railroad, General Custer led an expedition, the patenting of barbed wire and Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis jeans. The QWERTY keyboard was first used by Remington typewriter. 1874 was also a significant statewide year in Orange County history. Back East, Lewis F. Moulton decided to leave home at twenty years old on a daring adventure to California. His future business partner, Jean Pierre Daguerre, journeyed to California as a French Basque sheepherder. It was not an easy journey during those times as it required many forms of transportation. Lewis ventured into the west as an eager and formidable businessman. Join us as we chart this adventure in our exhibition with interactive stations and film!

Nellie's Gallery

Portrait of Nellie Gail Moulton with California Seascape, c. 1968, Photo print with hand painted elements, Collection of Chapman University.

Nellie Gail Moulton, Coastline, Oil on masonite, On loan from Bowers Museum

The Nellie Gail Moulton Exhibit features her sketches and paintings in Nellie’s Gallery. This series of conserved fine art has been on a traveling exhibit with our partners. It will be on view to the public until December 31, 2022. We have a artist-in-residency program. Please inquire for details.

An avid en plein air painter, Nellie belongs to a larger movement of female artists who have recently gained significant recognition for their contributions to the arts. Nellie created art throughout her entire life and studied with renowned artists such as William Wendt, Anna Hills, Frank Cuprien, and Edgar Payne (also showcased within this exhibition). Her work captures the rich beauty of nature, expressing her keen eye for detail and impressive use of color. 

Aliso Viejo Ranch

100 Park Avenue, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

The multi-disciplinary Aliso Viejo Ranch project. It preserves and restores historically significant buildings, artifacts and farming implements from the 1800s and highlights the importance of the agricultural past of Orange County, the state of California and Western United States while demonstrating the future of sustainable agriculture and aquaponics.

Pre-site rehabilitation in 2019

Post-site rehabilitation in 2021

Laguna Hills Civic Center

24035 El Toro Road | Laguna Hills, CA 92653

“The vaquero on horseback amid cattle brands display, is currently hanging on the feature wall in the Civic Center lobby, depicts the raising and branding of cattle, which was prevalent during the rancho period. Framing the display are branding irons from many famous historical figures, including Mexico’s last governor Pio Pico; Don Juan Avila, a former owner of vast amounts of land during the rancho period; and the branding irons of South Orange County historical icons Lewis Moulton, Richard O’Niell, Dwight Whiting and James Irvine.”

Don Juan Avila, John (Juan) Forster, and Jose Serrano
Dwight Whiting, Richard O'Neill, and Lewis Moulton
Nellie Gail Display Case - A history of the life of Nellie Gail in the lobby
Saddleback Mountains Pastoral Scene, c. 1930, Oil on board, Collection of Moulton Museum, 19" x 15"(2017.01.80)

Upcoming Exhibitions

Moulton Museum at John Wayne Airport

  • The exhibit will be  located on the upper level of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal in the walkway between Terminal-B and Terminal-C, before security screening, and is visible to anyone traveling through the Airport
  • March 2023 to September 2023 
  • Reception to-be-announced
Jared Mathis, Mary Lee Lindquist, and Scott Barnes

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center

1201 W Malvern Ave, Fullerton, CA 92833

  • April 6, 2023 – May 28, 2023  
  • Reception to-be-determined
  • LAPAPA Fresh on the New Lawn Competition on May 11, 2023

Soka University

Soka University Founders Hall Art Gallery, Second Floor

1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

949-480-4000 | info@soka.edu

  • May 18 – September 8, 2023

  • Opening Reception, Thursday, May 18, 2023.

We are taking reservations for our traveling exhibitions such as The Art of Nellie Gail Moulton. Please request to speak with our curatorial team so that we can schedule our collection at your facility.

Past Exhibitions

The Art of Nellie Gail Moulton

Laguna College of Art + Design’s BFA program in Drawing + Painting presented THE ART OF NELLIE GAIL MOULTON, a retrospective exhibition of paintings and drawings created by Nellie Gail Moulton (1878-1972). View our opening reception film.

Casa Romantica​

415 Avenida Granada
San Clemente, CA 92672

 March 13 –November 15, 2020

Closing Reception: Friday, November 13 @ 6-8 PM
Free! (RSVP Required)
Join us for the closing reception for Who Was Nellie Gail Moulton? Pioneer, Artist and so much more with complimentary wine and a performance by Jeremy Green.
Who was Nellie Gail Moulton? is underwritten by the Historical Collections Council of California Art with support from the Moulton Museum

Laguna Woods History Center

24266 Calle Aragon, Laguna Woods, CA 92637

The Laguna Woods History Center honored Nellie Gail Moulton’s legacy for their 40th anniversary. The Moulton family loaned LWHC Nellie’s artwork along with Jane Barnes’ work, her granddaughter in October 2017.

The exhibition featured 40mm film from a 1940s Moulton Ranch roundup and oral histories with the family. Historic images were displayed in the lobby with artifacts. Oversized map from the 1970s showcased the change-over-time since the ranch was sold to developers. Leisure World was one of the first communities developed from Moulton Ranch.

The above segment of This Day, a program on Village Television, has Jared Mathis, Moulton Family Foundation CEO, and Catherine Brians, Laguna Woods History Center C.C.O. discussing the history of the Moulton Family and the Moulton Family Ranch (on which Laguna Woods is built) with host, Cyndee Whitney. They also talk about the Nellie Gail Moulton and Jane Barnes art exhibit.