Reading California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900-2000

Reading California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900-2000

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This companion volume to the exhibition Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900-2000, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art offers nineteen in-depth, illustrated essays on the making of California culture in the twentieth century. Written by an impressive array of art historians and scholars in the humanities, these essays look closely at the forces that have shaped fine art and popular culture in California. The contributors weave their subjects around themes central to the milestone exhibition: the California landscape, including both natural and built environments; the state's complex interaction with Latin America and Asia; and the dynamic relationship between the arts and popular conceptions of California. The essays implicitly offer responses to the key questions that inform the exhibition: Which California? and Whose California?

Divided into three broad categories -- historical background, art history and popular culture, and politics and identity -- these provocative essays cover topics such as counterculture architecture, the Watts Towers, border culture, gender issues, the role of schools in California art, auto tourism, Hollywood, music, Beat culture, politics, literature, photography, and much more. Accessibly written and intellectually engaging, the essays bring together many diverse yet interrelated aspects of the state's art and culture and sharpen our understanding of California in the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520227675
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 01/15/2001
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 415
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.13(d)

About the Author

Stephanie Barron is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Vice President of Education and Public Programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Sheri Bernstein is Exhibition Associate. Ilene Susan Fort is Curator of American Art. Howard N. Fox is Curator of Contemporary Art. Michael Dear is Director of the University of Southern California's Southern California Studies Center and author most recently of The Postmodern Urban Condition (2000). Richard Rodriguez is author of Days of Obligation (1992) and Hunger of Memory (1982), and is a frequent contributor to Harper's, The New York Times,and The News Hour on PBS.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments7
The World Met Itself in California
Carey McWilliams's California: The Light and the Dark15
Altered State(s): California Art and the Inner World31
Landscapes of Consumption: Auto Tourism and Visual Culture in California, 1920-194051
California Welcomes the World: International Expositions, 1894-1940, and the Selling of a State69
Art School Sketches: Notes on the Central Role of Schools in California Art and Culture85
We Had Come, Without Knowing it, to Our Inevitable Place
All about Eden113
California through the Lens of Hollywood129
Music, Migration, and Myth: The California Connection153
On Location: The Placement (and Replacement) of California in 1930s Photography171
Crooning Kings and Dancing Queens: San Francisco's Chinatown and the Forbidden City Theater199
"Shocking 'Beat' Art Displayed": California Artists and the Beat Image221
Alternative Shelter: Counterculture Architecture in Northern California249
Dramworks: A Concept of Concept Art in California273
A Place in the Sun: The Los Angeles Art World and the New Global Context293
Here...where we Run out of Continent
Manzanar Inside and Out: Photo Documentation of the Japanese Wartime Incarceration315
The Art of Political Engagement339
From Beats to Borders: An Alternative History of Chicano Art in California353
Picturing the Watts Towers: The Art and Politics of an Urban Landmark373
Gold Fevers: Global L.A. and the Noir Imaginary389

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