June 6, 2012 |
One of Los Angeles' longest-running and most adversarial cultural disputes - over the future of the Southwest Museum in Mount Washington, and its prized collection of Native American artifacts - has a chance of shifting to a less contentious footing. Supporters of the Southwest Museum have been trying for years to force its stepparent, the Autry National Center of the American West, to revive the castle-like, 98-year-old site as a vibrant showcase for the collection. Meanwhile, they have tried to block the Autry from shifting Native American exhibits to the Autry Museum in Griffith Park.
May 30, 2012 |
This Sunday's annual Lummis Day festival, celebrating the history and culture of northeast L.A., calls to mind a time 100 years ago when the city was extremely pregnant with its first major, home-grown cultural institutions, but they had not yet quite been born. In its edition of June 16, 1912, the Los Angeles Times bannered the news that Charles F. Lummis and fellow members of the Southwest Society had paid $50,000 to secure a 17-acre property atop a bluff in Mount Washington for a museum to house Lummis' extraordinary collection of Native American artifacts.
May 17, 2012 |
Howard Terpning paints how the West was lived and lost more than 120 years ago. His subject is 19th century Native Americans, although he is not their descendant. Some of his canvases aim to capture the courage, dignity and desperation of the fight to keep their land. Many are carefully detailed depictions of the ways of life they fought to save. "Tribute to the Plains People," now at the Autry National Center of the American West in Griffith Park, is the biggest solo show of Terpning's career - a retrospective that covers 35 years and documents his standing as the acknowledged leader of a popular but not universally admired movement in which paintings become time machines into the Old West.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2012 |
As a set illustrator for Hollywood studios, Robert Temple Ayres created his most famous work at Paramount in 1959. Officially called "Map to Illustrate the Ponderosa in Nevada," it was conjured up just so it could burst into flames on television screens during the opening of the long-running show "Bonanza. " While the memorable "Bonanza" theme music played, Ayres' map appeared, then dissolved in flames , revealing the Ponderosa ranch's inhabitants on horseback — the Cartwright clan played by Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2012 |
When James Cooper was a teenager in segregated Louisiana, he worked at a factory for $2 a day and didn't see a bright future. So he entered the military, attracted by such benefits as free lodging and meals, and eventually joined the ranks of one of the first African American regiments in the U.S. Army, becoming what was known as a Buffalo Soldier. "Why did I join the Army? Survival. At 17, I looked at the Army and it was better than what I had," Cooper, now 89, told a small audience Sunday at the Autry National Center of the American West, in one of many events commemorating the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. A program in Culver City featured a panel discussion, poetry, choral and jazz music and a staged reading of a play called "The Dreamers" featuring Margaret Avery, an actress best known for her role in "The Color Purple.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 2011 |
Somewhere up there in California heaven, Charles Fletcher Lummis is not a happy man. A journalist and an obsessive collector of all things Western, Lummis was a pioneer L.A. historian who defended the cultural heritage of our state and region against those who would insult, ignore or steal it. He founded the city's first museum and built its first important museum building in 1914. And today, his Southwest Museum still rises like a castle on a hillside overlooking Lummis' favorite corner of the city, the Arroyo Seco.