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The Evolution Of Photography

May 31, 1987|ZAN DUBIN

Photography's evolution from a tool created to record the world into an art form used to interpret it will be the subject of an extensive exhibition opening Thursday at the County Museum of Art.

"Photography and Art: Interactions Since 1946" features more than 300 works by more than 100 artists.

"Basically, the exhibit is about photography used as a medium of art, rather than as a functional, documentary tool," and how the change came about, says Kathleen McCarthy Gauss, the museum's curator of photography. Gauss co-curated the exhibit with Andy Grundberg, guest curator at the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and photography critic of the New York Times. "Photography and Art," jointly organized by the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, runs to Aug. 30. It will travel to the Florida museum in October, to New York's Queens Museum next February and to Iowa's Des Moines Art Center next May.

GRANTS: The Institute of Museum Services has awarded its top grant of $75,000 for general operating support to three Los Angeles museums for fiscal 1987 and has given 30 other California institutions grants ranging from $5,000 to $75,000.

UCLA's Frederick S. Wight Art Gallery; the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County received the maximum grants. Dividing up $16.6 million among 409 institutions nationwide, the institute awarded a total of $1.8 million in California.

The 11-year-old IMS, an independent agency within the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities, annually awards operating grants to institutions ranging from fine-art museums to historic sites to zoos. Among other museums in California receiving the grants this year are the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco ($75,000), the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art ($75,000) and the Laguna Art Museum ($50,000).

Institutions awarded IMS grants compete for the awards and are eligible for funds up to 10% of their non-federal income and up to an annually determined maximum.

HIGH PROFILE: In the midst of the recent art activity blitz--the County Museum of Art's expansion, the new Museum of Contemporary Art's debut, the current construction of the new Getty Museum and the merging of the Norton Simon Museum with UCLA--leaders of the local art scene will discuss Los Angeles' "new status as an international art center" during a UCLA Extension symposium next Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

An agenda for the day lists the following issues: the role and impact of leading individuals and institutions on the local and international art scene; a cultural comparison of Los Angeles, New York and Washington and Los Angeles as an art center in the 21st Century.

On the speakers roster are Henry T. Hopkins, director, Frederick R. Weisman Collection; Mary Jane Jacob, recently appointed chief curator, Museum of Contemporary Art; Thomas F. Reese, associate director, the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities; Howard N. Fox, contemporary art curator, County Museum of Art; Marc Pally, city planner, Community Redevelopment Agency; and Bonnie Clearwater, art programs director, Lannan Foundation. Ruth Iskin, head of UCLA Extension's visual arts programs, is coordinator and moderator.

"Los Angeles 1987: A New International Art Center?" to be held in 2160E Dickson Art Center, is $45 for the general public. Information: (213) 206-8503.

NEW ACQUISITIONS: Quietly continuing to expand its permanent holdings, the J. Paul Getty Museum has acquired five new artworks.

Currently on exhibit are two 16th-Century Venetian drawings, Carpaccio's "Study of the Virgin" and Titian's "Nude Man Carrying a Rudder on His Shoulder"; a pair of lidded Sevres vases made in the last decades of the 18th Century, and a small painting of a Pieta attributed to Juan Nunez, a leading Andalusian master of the late 15th Century.

FROM THE BAUHAUS: Works by Austrian-born artist Herbert Bayer, an influential figure of 20th-Century art and design, are currently on view at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center.

Seen as a pioneer of institutional advertising, Bayer's work in graphics, typography and environmental and exhibition design continue to serve as models for artists today. A student and teacher at the Bauhaus, he is represented in the exhibit by paintings, sculpture, environmental art, tapestry and photography.

"Herbert Bayer 1900-1985: Works From the ARCO Collection" contains pieces from Arco and from Bayer's wife. A video portrait of the artist, who worked as art director for Vogue magazine and later as art and design consultant for Arco, accompanies the exhibit, ending July 5. The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is located at 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton. Information: (714) 738-6595.

CAMPAIGN: Pasadena's Art Center College of Design, a professional school of industrial and graphic design, illustration, advertising, photography, film and fine art, recently announced plans to raise $25 million for endowment and operations over the next five years.

"At a time when design and visual communications are playing increasingly important roles in our economy and culture," said the school's president David R. Brown in a prepared statement, "it seems appropriate to begin preparing Art Center and its graduates for the challenges of the '90s and beyond." Of the total campaign, $20 million is designated for endowment, whose earnings will fund scholarships and educational programs; $4 million will augment student tuition as operational income; and $1 million is earmarked for enhancing the institute's facilities and equipment.

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