with 'art' tag

spoonbridge and cherry

spoonbridge and cherry

it is cold here. and yes, this is probably one of the most over-photographed things in minneapolis. other pictures i took today will need a bit more massaging once i get back home.

in the “fiesta at a mission” mural by albert herter in the children’s department at the los angeles central library, there are plains indians among the crowd. when he was asked why this was, since they clearly weren’t native to the area and it seems a bit of a historical inaccuracy, herter replied that “they were visiting.”

(there is also a plains indian in the “americanization” mural in the rotunda, by cornwell — no story for why that is.)

the murals by herter were originally in the hope tunnel entrance to the library, but were moved to what was then the history reading room because of water seepage and poor lighting in the tunnel. as a result of the cleaning of the murals after the library fires in 1986, you can see clearly in at least one of the murals how they were expanded to fit the space in their new location.


central rotunda one of my favorite stories about the los angeles central library is how dean cornwell won the competition to do the murals in the rotunda. cornwell was so excited about the possibility of doing the murals, he entered the contest three times — once under his own name and twice under assumed names. when they selected the winners, the submission in his own name took first place, and the submissions under assumed names took second and third place.

doing the murals, which encompass 9000 square feet, took him five years.

here’s a brilliant contemporary review, even if i disagree with it, by thomas craven in american mercury magazine, december 1932: “the most conspicuous example of monumental profanation commissioned are the enlargements of coated paper magazine illustrations with which dean cornwell is swiftly and inexorably ruining the interior of one of the few tolerable buildings in los angeles.”

free museums

twenty-four los angeles museums are free tomorrow, october 1. that includes moca and the japenese american national museum downtown. (spotted by art.blogging.la.)

also, there’s a screening tomorrow night of infamy, a documentary about graffiti artists by doug pray, director of hype! and scratch.

busy night

tonight there is a discussion with william mcdonough about “the ‘cradle to cradle’ design protocol” at the central library, a party to celebrate lavoice.org’s 1000th post at cole’s, and it’s the monthly downtown art walk.

right now, i’ll count myself lucky if i make it to the talk at the library instead of being knocked out by allergy medication again.

the los angeles times reports about graffiti-style murals in boyle heights that don’t pass muster with the art cops. there’s even a few (undersized) pictures.

at grand performances, the emcee usually points out that the state of california spends the least amount of money on the arts, per capita. here you have privately-funded art that the government is deciding has to be destroyed just because it didn’t get to stick its fingers in the pot. be careful what you wish for.