Nellie Gail Moulton Exhibit

“In the legacy left to me, in the name of my husband, in memory of his humanitarianism, I have endeavored, in my donations to community projects, to help, to, hopefully, encourage the spirit of creativeness and enjoyment of the arts, for there is one thing I believe will never fade into oblivion – beauty in literature, painting, music, the drama – no matter how some, for whatever motive, will agitate to bring true talent to ridicule – those who appreciate and know its worth will never let it die.”
— Nellie Gail Moulton​

Nellie Gail Moulton was a teacher, mother, wife, rancher, philanthropist and artist that lived an extraordinary life to the fullest. She traveled the country and the world multiple times by ground, sea and air. She painted along the way. The Moulton Museum has been collecting and preserving the original works of Nellie Gail Moulton for some time and hopes to show the depth of her work in a public exhibitions.

Nellie on Exhibit



Laguna College of Art + Design’s BFA program in Drawing + Painting
is proud to present THE ART OF NELLIE GAIL MOULTON, a retrospective exhibition of paintings and drawings created by Nellie Gail Moulton (1878-1972).

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.

Curated by: Jennifer Keil + Cindy Keil (Moulton Museum), Bryan
Heggie (LCAD Gallery), and Hope Railey (Chair of LCAD Fine Arts).
374 Ocean Avenue
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
11AM-4PM Wednesday — Sunday
CLOSED Monday + Tuesday
For more information, visit
CONTACT INFO: | 949-376-6000

View our opening reception film.

Laguna Main Beach, circa 1935, Nellie Gail Moulton. Collection of Stephanie Hibbits.

An avid en plein air artist that painted her entire life, Nellie was dedicated to the craft and studied with renowned artists William Wendt, Anna Hills, and Frank Cupien among others. With the benefit of those influences, along with her keen eye and brilliant use of color, her works reflect the rich beauty of nature and landscapes throughout California and beyond. Moulton Museum has collected, preserved and archived many of her sketches as well as her oil on board and canvas creations. These pieces will be on display at Moulton Museum and will be part of future exhibits at our partner sites. 

Each Nellie Gail Moulton painting and sketch has been carefully conserved for long-term preservation. This treatment extends the lifespan of each piece for future generations to enjoy.

Balboa Park Lily Pond and House of Hospitality (2017.01.51)

Nellie Gail Display Case at the Laguna Hills Civic Center located at:

24035 El Toro Road | Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Who was Nellie Gail Moulton? was exhibited at Casa Romantica from March 13, 2020 to November 15, 2020. The gallery was featured in Orange Coast Magazine.

Nellie Gail Moulton and Jane Barnes were exhibit together at the Laguna Woods History Center for their 40th Anniversary in 2017. The  opening reception was featured in the O.C. Register.

Visit this dedicated page to her lifetime achievements. 

Nellie Gail Moulton and Charlotte, 1910.

Digitized images of her experiences as a teacher and owner of Moulton Ranch.

The Moulton Family - portrait photo with Louise, Nellie Gail, Charlotte and Lewis. The family is sitting for a formal portrait around 1920. Louise was approximately six years old and Charlotte ten years old. (2017.05.273)
Nellie Gail Moulton photography reproduced from The Western Woman, Volume IX - Number 10, October, November, December, 1939 (2018.08.01)

“There’s a wonderful photograph of her, pen in hand and steely-eyed, ready to sign up new members at a membership drive around 1945. She must have been hard to resist. As the association edged toward becoming a museum, Moulton championed the idea of building a museum-like permanent collection. She was the association’s president in 1948 and ’49 and a major contributor and fundraiser toward the first major expansion of the gallery on Cliff Drive. As realized in 1950-51, the expansion included a new studio for art classes and exhibitions named Moulton Hall in her honor.”

-Malcolm Warner, Past Executive Director of Laguna Art Museum

"Shack at Fisherman's Cove, Laguna" (2017.01.06)

View the entire collection here.

If you own an original Nellie Gail Moulton painting and would like to sell it or make it available for photographing, please contact Jared Mathis at or call at 949-450-6285.