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Napa Valley Collects
April 3 to May 31, 2015

Honoring the region’s private art collectors, the exhibition is on display from April 3 to May 31, 2015. The Hess Art Museum at The Hess Collection Winery is contributing one work of art by British artists Gilbert & George and three videos by German artist Marco Schuler.

A still from Bypass, by Marco Schuler

More information about the exhibition on Napa Valley Museum website,


Please check back for upcoming events like the past events archived below.


The Hess Collection and Napa Valley Film Festival Present:

The incredibly entertaining film by Neil Berkeley, chronicling the life of artist Wayne White

If there’s one thing you might not expect to see in the West Gallery of The Hess Art Collection, it might be a film about one of the creators of Pee Wee’s Playhouse, the iconic 1980’s television show that launched the career of Paul Rubens. But yes, on Sunday May 18, from 5-7 p.m. Beauty Is Embarrassing, the incredibly entertaining film chronicling the life of artist Wayne White, will launch a

series of art films this spring and summer, shown in partnership with the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) and The Hess Collection Winery. The award-winning director of the Beauty is Embarrassing, Neil Berkeley, will be in attendance on May 18, to introduce the film and be present for a lively Q&A following the screening. This is indeed a special opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the movie was made.

Seats fill fast!

Please reserve a seat here

Tickets are $20 and, of course, wine and appetizers will follow

Sunday, 18 May, 2014 5-7 p.m.
followed by a Q & A and reception.
The Hess Collection Winery
4411 Redwood Road
Napa, CA 94558

Please contact Ashley Cox with any questions

[707] 255-1144 X 226 or

And here’s a bit more about the first film in the series from Neil Berkeley:

“Raised in the Tennessee mountains, Wayne White started his career as a cartoonist in NYC. He quickly found success as one of the creators of the Pee-wee's Playhouse TV show which soon led to more work design some of the most arresting and iconic images in pop culture. Recently his word paintings featuring pithy and often sarcastic text statements finely crafted onto vintage landscape paintings have made him a darling of the fine art world. The movie chronicles the vaulted highs and crushing lows of an artist struggling to find peace and balance between his professional work and his personal art. This is especially complicated for a man who struggles with the virtues he most often mocks in his art...Vanity, ego and fame.”

See the Beauty Is Embarrassing movie trailer here. The movie is 88 minutes long.

Other films in the series will be shown monthly. Save the dates (and watch for details) for June 8, July 20 and August 10.

The Napa Valley Film Festival

The ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) lights up the picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga at the most colorful time of year, November 12-16, 2014. NVFF features over 100 new independent films and studio sneak previews screening in 12 beautiful venues throughout the four walkable villages, as 300 visiting filmmakers and celebrities interact with audiences at screenings and intimate events. Attendees enjoy film panels & culinary demonstrations, wine tasting pavilions, the spectacular Festival Gala, Celebrity Tributes, Awards Ceremony, and an array of parties, VIP receptions and winemaker dinners and more. Visit to buy Passes and for more information, or call 707.226.7500. Advance lodging reservations are recommended as hotels and inns will sell out. The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California.
Check out 2013 NVFF Highlights here!





The Hess Collection Presents:
Between Photography & Painting- by SFMOMA Curator, Janet Bishop

Janet Bishop will explore the blurring of mediums in contemporary art, and look, in particular, at work that takes its strength from both photography and painting. Focusing on works from the Hess Collection and SFMOMA, as well as other key examples, the talk will address art ranging from paintings by Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Vija Celmins and Robert Bechtle, which take newspaper images or snapshots as starting points, to lens-based works by Yasumasa Morimura, Jeff Wall, and Sam Taylor-Wood that reference 19th-Century painting. Bishop will also provide a glimpse into the new SFMOMA, which opens in 2016.

Janet Bishop is curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. While the museum is undergoing expansion construction, she is overseeing “SFMOMA On the Go”—a program of partnership exhibitions and site-responsive projects that the museum is presenting throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Among Bishop’s last major projects for SFMOMA were The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde, and Robert Bechtle: A Retrospective. She holds a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.A. from Columbia University.

Reservations are limited.

Tickets are $20 and, of course, wine and appetizers will follow!
Please reserve a seat here

The presentation starts at 3pm
followed by a reception at 4.

The Hess Collection Winery

4411 Redwood Road

Napa, CA 94558

Please contact Robert Ceballos with any questions - [707] 255-1144, X-244 or





15th Annual Animation Show of Shows Hosted December 15
At The Hess Collection Art Museum Theatre

A travelling selection of the years best animated short films selected from major worldwide animation film festivals will be shown at 10:00a.m. on Saturday, 28 September, in the Hess Art Collection theatre at The Hess Collection winery in Napa.

The Animation Show of Shows is curated and presented by Ron Diamond, who has, since 1998, chosen award-winning notable short films for the festival, including seven Oscar winning short films.  This entirely new collection, which runs for about 93 minutes, includes an international collection of the most original, funny, and intelligent short animated films from all over the world.  Diamond is the former producer of The International Tournée of Animation and

The Animation Celebration and films shown in his festival have been nominated for Academy Awards 23 times.  Admission for the showing is free, as is entrance to the Hess Art Collection.  Patrons are invited to remain and enjoy selected tastings of interesting new release wines in the historic Hess Visitor’s Center.  Selected films offered in the Hess theatre include:

Reservations are limited.  Please contact Ashley Cox at [707] 255-1144, X-226 or to reserve a seat for the Sept. 28 10 a.m. showing. 


Please join us for an afternoon with acclaimed Bay Area Artist
Alan Rath
Saturday April 27, 2013 | 5 pm
Presentation begins in West Gallery with Alan Rath
6 -7 pm: Reception with wine and appetizers in our private dining room

Please reserve a seat here
$20 per person

Note: You will need to enter 'Hess Collection' and the date at the VinoVisit reservation site then you will see this event in the list for Saturday, 4/27 at 5:00.

Alan Rath is a native Ohioan who works in Oakland, California. Rath holds a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in electrical engineering and his works use electronic media in a uniquely creative, refreshing and thought-provoking way of expression. Subtle humor and irony are intrinsic to Rath’s work and often play on our very human tendency to anthropomorphize inanimate objects, for example, when we refer to a machine 'running' or the hands of a clock. Rath’s sculptures occupy space as though they are sentient creatures, often appearing to observe us as much as we do them. Rath's observations about life and the media he chooses to express them will have you riveted.

For additional information, please contact:
Ashley Cox 707 255 1144 ext. 226
- or-
Robert Ceballos 707 255 1144 x 244



A dozen award-winning animated short films selected from major worldwide animation film festivals will be shown at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 in the Hess Art Collection theatre at The Hess Collection winery in Napa.

The Animation Show of Shows is curated and presented by Ron Diamond, who has, since 1998, chosen award-winning notable short films for the festival, including seven Oscar winning short films. This entirely new collection, which runs for about 93 minutes, includes films from Germany, Luxembourg, Russia, China, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, France, Belgium, Canada, and the United States.

Diamond is the former producer of The International Tournée of Animation and The Animation Celebration and films shown in his program have been nominated for Academy Awards 23 times.

Admission for the showing is free, as is entrance to the Hess Art Collection. Patrons are invited to remain and enjoy selected tastings of interesting new release wines in the historic Hess Visitor’s Center.

Seats are limited. Please contact Ashley Cox at [707] 255-1144 ext. 226 or to reserve a seat for the 10:30 a.m. showing.

Selected films offered in the Hess Theatre Include:
(Several are inappropriate for people under 16)

John Kahrs

The Brain Centrifuge Project
Till Nowak

Here and the Great Elsewhere
Michele Lemieux

Una Furtiva Lagrima
Carlo Vogele

I Saw Mice Burying A Cat
Dmitry Geller
Russia & China

The Case
Martin Zivocky
Czech Republic

7596 Frames
Martin Georgiev

La Taxidermiste
Paulin Cointot, Dorieanne Fibleuil,
Antoine Robert, Maud Sertour

Flamingo Pride
Tomer Eshed

Daffy’s Rhapsody
Matthew O’Callahan

Oh Willy!
Emma de Swaef, Mark James Roels

Lois Accaries, Marie Ayme,
Claire Baudeau, Aundrey Janiver




Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson Brings !WAR To Napa Valley

Award Winning Women Art Revolution Film Debuts At The Hess Collection
Arts Council Benefit Features Artist Conversation With Forum’s Michael Krasny
Saturday 28 April, 2012, 3 pm.

A moving collection of interviews with female artists recorded over four decades by artist Lynn Hershman Leeson captures the history of women in contemporary art, in their own, often contentious retelling of the impact of the feminist art movement that dates to the beginning of the women’s liberation and civil rights movements of the 1960’s.  The award-winning film, featuring a rousing score by Carrie Brownstein, will debut in the West Galley of the Hess Art Collection at The Hess Collection Winery on Saturday, April 28, 2012 in a major fund-raiser for the Arts Council of Napa Valley, part of the Napa Valley Arts in April™ celebration organized by the Napa Valley Destination Council.

The Arts Council benefit begins with a garden wine reception at The Hess Collection at 3 p.m., followed by a conversation with artist Leeson in the West Gallery of the Hess Art Collection led by popular KQED Forum host Michael Krasny.  The 83-minute film follows.  Later, an exclusive dinner with limited seating with artist Leeson and Michael Krasny will further benefit the Arts Council.

The reception, talk by Leeson led by Krasny and film screening is priced at $100 and procedes will go to Arts Council Napa Valley.

Your $1,000 dollar tax-deductible donation, in addition to the reception, talk and film, welcomes you and a guest to an exclusive dinner with Michael Krasny and Lynn Hershman to round out one spectacular evening.
Click here to donate for the exclusive dinner.

For information about the exclusive dinner, which is a separate event and ticket, please contact Ashley Cox at or [707] 255-1144 x-226.

For donation information, please contact: Kate Demarest at or (707) 257-2117 ext 3.

Ms. Leeson has long been among the most popular artists at The Hess Art Collection, where her displayed work includes America’s Finest #2, DiNA, Cyberroberta, A Room of One’s Own and Roberta Breitmore.  Often, her work is interactive and challenges the viewer.  In all, Donald Hess has acquired 17 works by the artist.

!WAR was selected as one of the three best documentaries of 2011 by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and is an official selection of the Sundance, Berlin, San Francisco, Toronto and Human Rights Watch Film Festivals.

Synopsis of !WAR (Women Art Revolution)
An entertaining and revelatory “secret history” of Feminist Art,!Women Art Revolutiondeftly

illuminates this under-explored movement through conversations, observations, archival footage and works of visionary artists, historians, curators and critics. Starting from its roots in 1960s antiwar and civil rights protests, the film details major developments in women’s art through the 1970s and explores how the tenacity and courage of these pioneering artists resulted in what is now widely regarded as the most significant art movement of the late 20th century.

For more than forty years, filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson (Teknolust,Strange Culture) collected a plethora of interviews with her contemporaries — and shaped them into an intimate portrayal of their fight to break down barriers facing women both in the art world and society at large. With a rousing score by Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein,!W.A.R.features Miranda July, The Guerilla Girls, Yvonne Rainer, Judy Chicago, Marina Abramovic, Yoko Ono, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, B. Ruby Rich, Ingrid Sischy, Carolee Schneemann, Miriam Schapiro, Marcia Tucker and countless other groundbreaking figures.

Links To Additional Information

Tickets For !WAR Arts In April Benefit

Official Website

Arts Council of Napa Valley

Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson


Napa Valley Arts In April™


Alan Rath

Andy Goldsworthy

Anselm Kiefer Installation

Anselm Kiefer


Deryck Healy

Deryck Healy

Franz Gertsch

Georg Baselitz

Gerhard Richter

Gustav Troger

James Turrell

Franz Gertsch

The New Hess Art Collection Catalogue

For Donald M. Hess, collecting art is not simply about compiling objects, it is a practice urged by a deep conviction that artists are the subconscious voice of our collective mind.

“People make the mistake of thinking artists function only on the fringe, as indicators of issues demanding our attention” says Hess. “We sometimes go to see their works in galleries or museums but forget that they have a crucial role in everything we know in our daily lives.”

Hess notes that artists make a powerful mark on “non-artistic efforts” like science, business, marketing and even political campaigns.

“Artists are the people who process all the input from culture and use it to make our world sensually intriguing,” Hess says. “They give culture the tangible cement that defines it and holds it together.”

It is from this passion that Hess continued to collect art and learn from artists over the past 40 years.

“A Swiss artist named Rolf Iseli taught me as a young businessman that I had a responsibility to engage in business that respected the Earth,” Hess says. “At first, it took some uncomfortable stretching on my part to understand and accept what he was telling me, but he convinced me.  I focused only on naturally-based industries from that point on.” 

Rolf Iseli is one of 65 artists whom Donald Hess has supported over the long term.  By design, the collection and the catalogue show works over the span of an artist’s career as Hess devotedly follows their work.   The Hess Art Collection catalogue gives homage to the artists whose work it contains.  The brief texts about each of them are not pedantic attempts to render and deliver their works in easily swallowed packets, but rather sincere statements by the artists intended to spur thought and further investigation. 

Equal attention is given to iconic artists like Robert Rauschenberg or Francis Bacon, and talents still to be discovered like the San Francisco Bay Area’s Hifumi Ogawa and Robilee Frederick.

“Collecting for Donald Hess is not about amassing pieces for their future auction values, or what experts say is important,” says Robert Ceballos, Museum Director at The Hess Art Museum at the Hess Collection Winery.  “Rather, it is an individual passion, so he gathers works that he likes regardless of the artists fame, or lack thereof. He wants to be challenged and shown new ideas and different points of view and makes the effort to maintain relationships with and support the artists over the long term.”

The collection has grown from 250 pieces when the first Hess Collection catalogue was released in 1989 to more than 1,000 today.

“This new Hess Art Collection Catalogue was a logical and appropriate step in sharing the dynamism of this major collection with a broader public,” says Ceballos. “Donald Hess kept an amazingly good collector’s eye over the years and assembled a very respectable collection of contemporary art that many say rivals major museum collections.  People should know about this little visited gem off the beaten path in the hills of Napa Valley.”

The Hess Art Collection Catalogue is available in Hardback for $75 through the Hess Collection Winery website, or at its Visitor Centre.

Catalogue Details

The hardcover book presents the works of 52 artists of the Hess Art Collection from all over the world, a statement by each artist about his or her art and introductions by Donald Hess and Curator, Myrtha Steiner.  $75 retail.

Click here to read the whole article. Click here to purchase the book




Andy Goldsworthy; Surface Tension - The Hess Collection Art Museum - Napa, California

Andy Goldsworthy  |  Surface Tension

Robert Ceballos, Director of the Hess Art Museum, recently oversaw the installation of the newest addition to our Contemporary Art Museum, a permanent screen work by Andy Goldsworthy.  Originally produced by Goldsworthy in 1991 and acquired by Donald Hess in 1993, Goldsworthy's Surface Tension is truly breathtaking and a must see! The intricate 10x 15 foot lattice, comprised entirely of leaf stalks from a Horse Chestnut tree, is held together by hawthorn thorns and tensioned between two standing walls, floor and ceiling. No glue or hardware are used in the work.  Completed after 14 hours of work by Goldsworthy, this is the first time the piece has been reassembled since its purchase.

John Connell  Drawings and Sculptures

July 2009 – July 2010

 A collection of drawings and sculptures by Maine-based artist John Connell are on display from July 2009 – July 2010. The artist describes his sculptures as “life specific” gestures made of the most impermanent of materials: Newspaper dipped and smeared with tar and wax, applied to an armature of wire and wood.  He does large expressive paintings that often are abstracted landscapes used as backdrops for enormous installations in which hundreds of his sculptures stand frozen in a moment of interaction, as he puts it, “laughing, fighting, making love, resting or conversing.” Smaller works, such as his preparatory sketches for installations, have an extraordinary gestural quality that show a sublime understanding of the human form and its movement.  Often in these smaller works, there is a very classical approach akin to studies drawn by European masters.  The quick, gestural and deliberately raw quality of his work speaks strongly of human fragility and the fleeting quality of our lives.

Yue Minjun  |  Self Portrait

On July 3rd we installed a large painting titled Self Portrait by Yue Minjun.  It is prominently displayed above one of the landings of the museum foyer.  The painting becomes interactive as you climb the stairs to the various floors to see it at different angles.  Minjun is famously known for cartoon-like oil paintings depicting himself in various settings, frozen in a moment of exaggerated laughter.  The self portraits often are interpreted by western art critics as a satirical response to the Chinese government's demand that its citizens hide discontent from the outside world and always present a happy face.  He also has made humorous paintings that reference iconic images from western art – his head atop the famous image of Marilyn Monroe standing over a subway vent is one such example or his head on the figures from a painting by Velazquez.  Minjun has also reproduced his image in sculpture, watercolor and prints.

Theodoros Stamos  |  Tundra

Stamos’ painting Tundra is again on permanent display at the Hess Art Museum.  The work was removed in 1996 for loan to a Stamos retrospective at the National Gallery, Alexandros Soutzos Museum in Athens following the artist’s death.  Recent changes to our museum space created a wall that was in the perfect location for us to re-exhibit this work,” says Robert Ceballos, Director of the Hess Art Museum.  The work is now exhibited along with another five paintings by Stamos.

Hifumi Ogawa  |  Paintings

October 2008 – October 2009

Hifumi Ogawa is a Japanese artist who came to the USA to study, and now resides and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is one of two local artists whose works are shown at the Hess Art Museum, where five of her paintings are on temporary display until October 2009.  Donald Hess first bought a painting from her in 1994 when she was a new graduate from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California.  “It says a lot about Hess’ style of collecting that he supported an unknown artist who had just graduated from school,” says Robert Ceballos.  “Within the collection, her works stand apart as unique, but they also more than hold their own with the Francis Bacons on the opposing wall.  Her paintings act as both a counter balance and complement to that particular gravitas that is so inexorably Bacon.  People often see a sort of haunted quality to Ogawa’s work, but if you look past the shadows in some of her paintings, there is also a very refreshing and childlike playfulness in them.”