Two Polish artists—the renowned actress Helena Modjeska and the famous composer and pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski—were drawn to California in the 1870s and 1910s respectively. Their bond with the California landscape in Modjeska’s ranch, El Refugio, near Santa Ana, and Paderewski’s Rancho San Ignacio, near Paso Robles, offered them retreats from their performance tours, restored their health, and gave them a sense of belonging. In turn, both transformed the landscape of the imaginary as they developed productive agriculture.

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