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Art for the 80th : Three Exhibitions of American Indian and Mexican Works Celebrate the Southwest Museum's Birthday

October 04, 1987|ZAN DUBIN | Zan Dubin is a Los Angeles arts writer

THE SOUTHWEST MUSEUM, Los Angeles' oldest art treasury, turns 80 in December; three exhibitions that highlight birthday festivities will run through January 5 at the Mt. Washington institution.

"Eight Artists II" features contemporary two- and three-dimensional works by leading North American Indian artists. "The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection of Mexican Folk Art" includes clay sculptures, ceramics and toys from among 100 objects amassed between 1933 and 1978. "The Federico and Ellen Jimenez Collection of Mexican Jewelry" is composed of Pre-Hispanic, Colonial and contemporary pieces.

The Southwest Museum, housing an extensive collection of Western, Native American and Spanish materials, was founded by amateur historian and Indian expert Charles Lummis in 1907.

"Lummis really fell in love with New Mexico, Arizona and California," says museum head librarian Daniela Moneta, "and he wanted to found a museum that would display the artifacts of these people."

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