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Made in California: Art, Image and Identity, 1900-2000 Hardcover – 11 Dec 2000

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"This handsome--and hefty--exhibition catalog about California culture provides from one to three photographs on virtually every page. By perusing it, one can almost experience the visual event."--"Choice

About the Author

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful and important catalog and exhibition 18 Nov. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Finally, an expansive and critical, although bewildering, survey of California's visual culture and its impact on American culture at large! Beautiful in its design and generous in illustrations, the catalog offers insight into the complexities of America's "wild frontier." What makes this catalog/exhibtion most intriguing is its inclusion of ephemera, framed by the organizers as important historical and cultural documents of life in California. Often overlooked, these items are often more telling than the cultural productions of visual artists and offer interesting juxtapositions to the art also presented. In addition to the discourse between hi and low culture, is the discussion of the cultural and racial diversity of California's population and its effect on culture and identity. The writers and curators bring together important documents, visuals, and art that construct diverse racial, gender, and sexual identities and also offer critical insight to these.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Warm California Nights 8 Nov. 2006
By Kevin Killian - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's pretty massive, this book, and it feels like a lot of work went into it, but it's best thought of as a compendium of previous critical thought on the subject. On that basis it would be a good primer for students who are just beginning their work in cultural studies of "Californization," for the editors have done a fine job of summarizing and recommending the best books on the subject. Curatorially, the show was pretty vast, and like many LACMA productions, it was more Hollywood than Hollywood. Yet what works in a museum's large gallery spaces doesn't always translate onto the necessarily smaller page, and some of the best painting (if I may restrict myself to just one genre) that we saw up on the walls looks a little silly here: Agnes Pelton and Henrietta Shore in miniature look like prog-rock LP cover designers of the "Yes" era, suffering the indignity of having their twelve inch album designs shrunk down to CD size for the postmodern era. Something of the hazy beauty of Stanton Macdonald Wright still remains, though . . . What works best here is oddly what didn't really work in the show: the presence of a huge variety of topical items and ephemera, everything from signs that said, "Let's Keep California White," to that humorous can of "Los Angeles Smog" that you could buy as a souvenir if you went to LA in the 1950s (it's a great can with a full color comic book label--it might have invented all of pop art all by itself!) For sometimes in the exhibition so much ephemera seemed to hog your attention away from the more culturally approved "master works," where here in the catalogue, they assume point position in the continuing argument of the curators and the essayists charged with making California visible to us, step by step.

Sometimes this is done in wearisome detail, so that by the Cold War era I was like, oh for goodness sake, I've had enough history, and some of it seemed like rote. None of the scandals of history were omitted, from the Japanese internment camps to the Manson murders, from Upton Sinclair to the cuttings on Cathie Opie's back. Representative? In every way they could think of. And yet for some reason it wasn't one of those life changing exhibitions, probably because its thesis was so unoriginal.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A chance stroll into the LA County Museum 2 Jan. 2002
By "abfab420" - Published on
Format: Paperback
The exhibit was astounding - this museum is HUGE! The works of art featured are very diverse, both in theme, style and culture. The book really is a nice tribute to this grand exhibition. Any Californian who likes both popular art and "marginal" or underground art would be satisfied with this book.
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