The American collection is the oldest in the museum, having begun with the acquisition of George Bellows’s Cliff Dwellers in 1916. Today the collection—consisting primarily of paintings and sculptures dating from the colonial period to World War II—provides an excellent survey of the development of art and culture throughout the nation and the region. Combined with related holdings of American decorative art, the collection recently moved to redesigned and expanded galleries emphasizing the international context of our nation’s art.
Compass for Surveyors: 19th Century American Landscapes
Associate Curator José Luis Blondet discusses the reinstallation of the American Art galleries.
Very little is known about the artist Robert Witt Ames, much less his connection to Hollywood. He spent much of his youth abroad due to his father stationed overseas in the army, but returned with his family to Los Angeles in his teens and continued his education locally pursuing a degree in law. But like many of the residents who live in this town, Ames became charmed with one of the largest industries in the area: the business of making movies…
In 1968—a turbulent year of political upheaval, assassinations, demonstrations, and war—Nancy Grossman emerged as the creator of mysterious leather-bound heads, such as No Name, that became icons of modern art. Each of these heads was meticulously crafted, taking months to carve in found wood, then to encapsulate in a skin of black leather that was designed, cut, sewn, and tacked together by Grossman herself…