Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Civic Virtue via the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Art Park

Frank Lloyd Wright's OG drawings for  Hollyhock House

Excerpted from January 2012's Los Feliz Ledger:

Before LACMA and MOCA, there was the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) in Barnsdall Art Park.

Open now through Feb. 12th, the exhibition Civic Virtue: The Impact of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and the Watts Towers Arts Center is a retrospective of art culled from more than 80 years of exhibitions and outdoor festivals at the park. Funded by the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative, the wide-ranging show chronicles an important aspect of the city’s cultural history and took two years to research and organize.

Pieces range from architectural plans for Hollyhock House from Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio to historical photographs of Olive Hill to work by contemporary artists like Llyn Foulkes and photographer Julius Shulman. Among the curiosities are works from actor Vincent Price’s art collection, an Andy Warhol short and graphics by Sister Mary Corita, who had the first woman’s solo show at the gallery.

Even for someone who has spent much time on the hill, the impressive breadth of past exhibitions and cultural activities that occurred in the park is a revelation. From the mid-1950s until 1969, 140 exhibitions were held in a temporary pavilion designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. That was demolished in 1969 when the current Municipal Art Gallery opened.  The LAMAG has always been city owned and run; it continues to exist in spite of recent funding issues and numerous controversies dating back to Aline Barnsdall’s days. The LAMAG is open Tues. – Sun. from 12- 5 p.m.

Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery
4800 Hollywood Blvd., LA 90027

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