The Culture Broker: Franklin D. Murphy and the Transformation of Los Angeles

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Franklin Murphy? It's not a name that is widely known; even during his lifetime the public knew little of him. But for nearly thirty years, Murphy was the dominant figure in the cultural development of Los Angeles. Behind the scenes, Murphy used his role as confidant, family friend, and advisor to the founders and scions of some of America's greatest fortunes—Ahmanson, Rockefeller, Ford, Mellon, and Annenberg—to direct the largesse of the wealthy into cultural institutions of his choosing. In this first full ...
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Overview


Franklin Murphy? It's not a name that is widely known; even during his lifetime the public knew little of him. But for nearly thirty years, Murphy was the dominant figure in the cultural development of Los Angeles. Behind the scenes, Murphy used his role as confidant, family friend, and advisor to the founders and scions of some of America's greatest fortunes—Ahmanson, Rockefeller, Ford, Mellon, and Annenberg—to direct the largesse of the wealthy into cultural institutions of his choosing. In this first full biography of Franklin D. Murphy (1916-994), Margaret Leslie Davis delivers the compelling story of how Murphy, as chancellor of UCLA and later as chief executive of the Times Mirror media empire, was able to influence academia, the media, and cultural foundations to reshape a fundamentally provincial city. The Culture Broker brings to light the influence of L.A.'s powerful families and chronicles the mixed motives behind large public endeavors. Channeling more than one billion dollars into the city's arts and educational infrastructure, Franklin Murphy elevated Los Angeles to a vibrant world-class city positioned for its role in the new era of global trade and cross-cultural arts.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Franklin D. Murphy (1916-1994) may not be a household name, but, as Davis (Dark Side of Fortune: William Mulholland and the Inventing of Los Angeles) shows in this informative biography, he was singularly influential in the academic, journalistic and artistic development of Los Angeles. Once dubbed the "doge" of that city, he left an indelible imprint on UCLA, of which he was chancellor during the '60s and expanded its academic programs to make it a world-class university (he resigned in 1968, beleaguered to the point of depression by student protesters on one hand and conservative alumni and politicians on the other); on the media, as CEO of Times Mirror, the parent company of the Los Angeles Times; on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as a philanthropist and trustee. Because Davis tells not just Murphy's story but the story of Los Angeles coming into its own, many important Californians-Ronald Reagan, fund-raiser Dorothy Chandler, Eldridge Cleaver-make cameo appearances. Although Davis occasionally gets bogged down in the minutiae of institutional history, this is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the history of California or of American higher education. 33 b&w photos. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520224957
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 8/20/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 495
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Margaret Leslie Davis is a California lawyer and is also the author of Dark Side of Fortune: Triumph and Scandal in the Life of Oil Tycoon Edward L. Doheny (UC Press, 1998) and Rivers in the Desert: William Mulholland and the Inventing of Los Angeles (1993), for which she won the Western Writers of America Golden Spur Award in nonfiction.
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Table of Contents


preface: the art of the trustee / xi
prologue: something to prove / 1
The Kansas Mission . The Mad Governor versus the Boy Wonder . Imprinted by the Heartland

part i: chancellor

one: into the pastel empire / 21
A City Rethinking Itself . The Three Powerful Southern Regents . Lure of an Adolescent City . The Investiture of Otis Chandler

two: ucla in worldwide terms / 42
Taking Command: Hail to the Hills of Westwood . Funding Culture in the Cold War . The Titan Chancellor . Symbols of Authority . The Scions Paul Mellon and Henry Ford II

three: turmoil and golden moments / 75
Opening Night, Los Angeles Music Center . Opening Night, Los Angeles County Museum of Art . The Shadow behind the Golden Glow: The Watts Rebellion of August 1965 . University in Turmoil . Colossal Construction . A Threat to Clark Kerr . The Rise of Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Clark Kerr

four: 1968—year of crisis / 102
The Embattled Chancellor . Resignation . The Death of Howard Ahmanson

part ii: chairman

five: the chancellor becomes ceo / 119
“A Beauty to Behold” . The Interlocking Directorate . Politics and the Mighty Chandlers . Jubilant Republicans and the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board

six: the chandler empire in the watergate years / 138
A Time of Scandal . The Picasso Room . A Family Crisis . The Passing of Norman Chandler . “A Cancer on the Presidency” . Pressures and Prestige . The Forced Retirement of Dorothy Chandler

seven: power and philanthropy / 172
Pushing the New York Times off Its Perch . Henry Ford II versus Lee Iacocca .The Legacy of Howard F. Ahmanson . The Impact of the Ahmanson Foundation on Los Angeles . The Confirmation of Nelson Rockefeller . The Chairman of Times Mirror Retires . Golden Donors

part iii: trustee

eight: the los angeles county museum of art / 209
The Pursuit of Norton Simon and Armand Hammer . The Challenge for a New Director . The County Museum in Peril . Los Angeles in “Art Heaven”

nine: the national gallery of art / 239
Joining Forces with J. Carter Brown . The Visit of Princess Diana . Courting Collectors Armand Hammer and Walter Annenberg . Trusteeship and Successorship

ten: the samuel h. kress foundation / 261
The Kress Brothers . Giveaways and Preservation

eleven: the j. paul getty trust / 273
Family Dynamics . An Afternoon with J. Paul Getty . The Getty Curse . The Richest Museum in the World . A Golden Moment for Harold Williams . An Acropolis for Los Angeles

twelve: three that got away / 319
The Deceptions of Armand Hammer . The Lost Treasures of Norton Simon . The Fateful Wounding of Walter Annenberg

part iv: steward

thirteen: changing of the guard / 347
A Time of Loss . New Era, New Leaders, New Priorities . Building a Multicultural City . Linking Los Angeles’s Libraries . Civic Pride and Civil Unrest . Rescue for the Huntington Library

fourteen: the doge of los angeles / 373
Chaos at the County Museum . Shifting Leverage . Final Bows

afterword: the mosaic city / 389
acknowledgments / 393
notes / 395
selected bibliography / 451
index / 463

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