This companion volume to the exhibition Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity,1900-2000 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art offers in-depth, illustrated essays on the making of California culture in the twentieth century. Written by a stellar cast of art historians and scholars in the humanities, the essays look closely at the forces that shaped fine art and material culture in California. The contributors weave their subjects around themes that are central to the milestone exhibition: the California landscape-both the natural and built environments-and the state's cultural and political relationships with Latin America and Asia.
These provocative essays cover topics such as counterculture architecture, Watts Towers, border culture, identity and gender issues, the role of schools in California art, auto tourism, Hollywood, music, Beat culture, politics, literature, photography, and much more. Accessibly written and intellectually engaging, these essays sharpen our understanding of California in the twentieth century and bring together many diverse, yet interrelated, aspects of its art and culture.
Author Biography: Stephanie Barron is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Vice President of Education and Public Programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Sheri Bernstein is Exhibition Associate. Ilene Susan Fort is Curator of American Art. Howard N. Fox is Curator of Contemporary Art. Michael Dear is Director of the University of Southern California's Southern California Studies Center and author most recently of The Postmodern Urban Condition (2000). Richard Rodriguez is author of Days of Obligation (1992) and Hunger of Memory (1982), and is a frequent contributor to Harper's, The New York Times,and The News Hour on PBS.
"The stimulating essays in Reading California provide both a broad and detailed look at the nature of California art-from painting, photography and film to literature and the counterculture music that so ignited the 1960s.