The Kern River Valley Historical Society is celebrating over 50 years of operation! Our mission is to preserve and communicate the rich and colorful history of this region. The Kern Valley Museum in downtown Kernville, next to the Post Office, welcomes visitors to explore our rich history.

What's Happening

This August 2019 the Kern Valley Museum Archives presents some of the best scenes of local interest from the astounding Ardis and Gail Walker Collection, now showing in the Kern Valley Museum Art Gallery through August 31st. 

Ardis and Gail Walker had the opportunity and experience to collect a wide-ranging array of outstanding art, including oil paintings in the style of  California Impressionism. Unknown to many, several California artists travelled to Europe during the Impressionist era, and studied and painted with the masters there. California and the art world benefitted greatly by this influence. 

The early years of Impressionism, when the European paintings were more representational, less abstract, seems to have been the larger influence on our California artists.   Personally, these glowing, but still "true to life" works, are my favorites from the Impressionist Era.

A forgotten part of history now getting the attention it deserves, is that Eugenie, the Empress of France during the Second Empire (Napoleon III), almost single-handedly fostered the rise of French Impressionism.  She provided a venue for the best Impressionist artists of her time. It was called the "Salon des Refuses" - the "Salon of the Refused", that is, the Impressionists - whose works were refused entry into the annual showings dominated by the earlier styles of rigidly-painted realism.   With this exposure, Impressionism became a public sensation, one which still delights us here today. 

Don't miss the chance to view this superb selection of local subjects from the Walker Collection!  Visit our Art Gallery inside the Museum.

             - Kim Salisbury