Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
15 documents - page 1 of 1

Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art records

Creator:
Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art  Search this
Names:
Marks, Ben  Search this
Plagens, Peter  Search this
Smith, Robert Lewis  Search this
Spence, Judy  Search this
Extent:
18 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Date:
1973-1988
Summary:
The records of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art measure 18 linear feet, date from 1973 to 1988, and document the brief thirteen-year history of LAICA's activities as a Southern California visual arts organization and exhibition space for contemporary art. Records detail the founding of the organization, operations and administration, exhibitions, events, and publications. More than half of the collection is comprised of exhibition, program, and event files that include correspondence with artists, curators, and others; printed materials; and photographs, negatives, and slides.
Scope and Content Note:
The Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art records measure 18 linear feet, date from 1973 to 1988, and document the founding of the organization, board activities, general operations and administration, exhibitions, programs, events, and publications.

Founding documents and Board of Director's files contained in the collection include the articles of confederation, by-laws, constitution, director's reports, board meeting minutes, and scattered correspondence of Peter Plagens and Judy Spence, both of whom served as Chair of the Board. These records detail the mission, organization, objectives, and goals of LAICA.

More than half of the records are comprised of exhibition, program, and event files covering LAICA's entire history of operation. Included are exhibition announcements and catalogs; correspondence with artists, curators, and organizers; press releases and other publicity; grant applications and proposals; and photographs, contact sheets, negatives, and slides which depict the exhibition's installation and works of art.

Two series of photographs and slides provide additional visual documentation of LAICA's exhibitions and events, including the installations and work of LAICA's Artists-in-Residence program. Slides depicting LAICA's buildings, offices, and staff activities are also found.

LAICA's production of its publications, including material related to their regular periodical, Journal, is well-documented through correspondence, manuscripts, and editorial files. Also found are unedited transcripts of interviews and material that was not used for publication. Meeting minutes and correspondence represent the activities of the publication committee from the mid 1970s to 1987.

The correspondence of LAICA directors Robert Smith (18 folders) and Ben Marks (one folder) contain information on almost all of the organization's activities, including exhibitions, events, funding, staffing, and general operations. General Operations files include Administrative Files and Financial Files that document members and donors, staff, financial activities, fundraising efforts, income, expenses, and grants.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 8 series.

Slides were separated from Series 1-6, and filed in Series 8 for better preservation housing.

Series 1: Board of Directors, 1973-1987 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet )

Series 2: Correspondence, early 1970s-1987 (Boxes 1-2; 0.75 linear feet )

Series 3: General Operations, 1974-1988, undated (Boxes 2-3; 1.25 linear feet)

Series 4: Publicity, 1974-1986 (Box 3; 15 folders)

Series 5: Exhibitions and Programs, 1974-1987 (Boxes 3-13; 9.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Publications, 1974-1987 (Boxes 13-15; 2.75 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, mid-1970s-1983 (Box 15; 11 folders)

Series 8: Slides, 1974-1987 (Boxes 16-18; 3.0 linear feet)
Historical Note:
The Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art was formed between 1973-1974 to provide a permanent exhibition venue for the visual contemporary arts in the Los Angeles area. The founding principle was to establish an arts organization that operated democratically and spoke with a multiplicity of voices. In order to remain flexible and minimize operating expense, LAICA did not establish a permanent collection.

Members of the Board of Directors included Peter Alexander, John Baldessari, Rosamund Felsen, Peter Plagens, Judy Spence, and other artists, gallery owners, and members of the art community. Committees that supervised exhibition programming and LAICA's published Journal were elected by members, and the duties of exhibition curator and periodical editor rotated among members, rather than being the responsibility of permanent staff. A registry of slides and biographical materials, begun in 1971, was open to submission by any Southern California artist. LAICA's first exhibitions were held in the fall of 1974, under founding director Robert Smith, a former curator at the Brand Library and Art Center in Glendale, California. The first issue of Journal was published in June of the same year.

LAICA's first exhibition space consisted of 4,200 square feet on the fifth floor of the Century City complex. During the mid-1970s, the organization hosted numerous exhibitions and events - all were were well attended, despite the lack of parking and restrooms. Exhibitions focused on a wide variety of contemporary painting, sculpture, decorative arts, fashion, performance art, video, music, architecture, social issues, and public art. Exhibitions were curated by both LAICA staff and guest curators, including Walter Hopps. Desiring to expand their space, LAICA had hopes of Frank Gehry redesigning the Century City space. The institute, however, was forced to relocate after losing their lease.

In March of 1977, LAICA reopened in an 8,000 square foot facility on 2020 South Robertson Boulevard. In addition to their public programming, the organization created an Artist-in-Residence program with funding made available by the Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA). By the end of the 1970s, LAICA was flourishing with increased budget and staff, and, by 1980, opened a second exhibition space at 815 Traction Avenue, referred to as the "Downtown Gallery." An additional storefront exhibition space in the Eastern Columbia building was donated by State Senator Alan Sieroty.

A decrease in public funding in the early 1980s forced LAICA to cut some of its public programs. The organization, however, still staged ambitious exhibitions, including one of contemporary Italian art that traveled to nine different venues, and a show of nine contemporary Australian artists in connection with the 1984 Olympics Art Festival.

Robert Smith resigned from his position as director in early 1985. Ben Marks, the former director of the Center of Contemporary Art in Seattle, was hired that summer. By March of 1986, however, Marks had resigned and the Board of Directors decided to sell LAICA's South Robertson location. Faced with financial burdens and the lack of a permanent exhibition space, LAICA staged exhibits at temporary spaces around Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art officially closed in 1987 after thirteen years of operation.
Related Material:
Found in the Archives of American Art are the Peter Plagens papers, 1941-1987, which include meeting minutes and correspondence relating to LAICA.
Provenance:
The bulk of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art records were donated by Judy Spence, the former Chair of the LAICA Board of Directors, in 1986. Additional material was donated in 1997 by her husband, Stuart Spence.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Sculptors  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California, Southern -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art centers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Citation:
Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art records, 1973-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.losangin
See more items in:
Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-losangin
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Sonia Wolfson

Interviewee:
Wolfson, Sonia, 1903-1997  Search this
Interviewer:
Fort, Ilene Susan  Search this
Extent:
3 Items (sound cassettes)
38 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1990 August 19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Sonia Wolfson conducted 1990 August 19, by Ilene Fort, for the Archives of American Art.
Wolfson speaks of her childhood in New York; moving to California in the 1980s; writing for California Graphic and Game and Gossip; traveling to view various art collections in San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland, Toledo, Washington D.C., and Europe; working as a secretary for three days at Columbia Studio; working as a writer and art critic for Stendhal Art Galleries in Los Angeles; taking a job for 20th Century Fox as a unit publicist in 1933 during the Depression. Wolfson discusses several of the actors she worked with, including Jane Withers, Darryl Zanuck, George Arliss, and Winfield Sheehan; she reminisces about writing about the 1925-26 Pan-American Exhibition in Los Angeles.
Biographical / Historical:
Sonia Wolfson (1903-1997) was an art critic from Los Angeles, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 9 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Topic:
Women art critics -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California, Southern  Search this
Art critics -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.wolfso90
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wolfso90

Oral history interview with John Spencer

Interviewee:
Spencer, John, 1911-1996  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Names:
Cornwell, Dean, 1892-1960  Search this
Extent:
2 Items (sound cassettes (1 hr., 23 min.), analog.)
41 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
Date:
1994 September 1
Scope and Contents:
An interview with John Spencer conducted 1994 September 1, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
Spencer discusses his work assisting Dean Cornwell on the Los Angeles Central Library murals between 1927-1933; his subsequent relationship with Cornwell; and his experience as a young artist in Southern California in the 1930s.
Biographical / Historical:
John Spencer was a painter from Pasadena, California.
General:
Originally recorded 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 23 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire audio recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Art, American -- California, Southern  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California, Southern  Search this
Muralists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- 20th century -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.spence94
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-spence94

Sonia Wolfson papers

Creator:
Wolfson, Sonia, 1903-1997  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Linear feet ((10 items))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1924-[194-]
Scope and Contents:
A scrapbook, 1924-1927, containing clippings of Wolfson's reviews and articles in CALIFORNIA GRAPHIC (PICTORIAL) magazine; seven caricatures by various artists and two photographs of Wolfson, ca. 1940.
Biographical / Historical:
Art critic; Los Angeles, Calif.
Provenance:
Donated by Sonia Wolfson, 1990.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Art critics -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Topic:
Women art critics -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California, Southern  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.wolfsoni
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wolfsoni

Oral history interview with John Spencer, 1994 September 1

Interviewee:
Spencer, John, 1911-1996  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Cornwell, Dean  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
Topic:
Art, American -- California, Southern  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California, Southern  Search this
Muralists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- 20th century -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11771
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215798
AAA_collcode_spence94
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215798
Online Media:

Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art records, 1973-1988

Creator:
Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art  Search this
Subject:
Smith, Robert Lewis  Search this
Spence, Judy  Search this
Marks, Ben  Search this
Plagens, Peter  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Topic:
Sculptors  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California, Southern -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art centers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5495
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211797
AAA_collcode_losangin
Theme:
Latino and Latin American
Communities, Organizations, Museums
Photography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211797
Online Media:

Sonia Wolfson papers, 1924-[194-]

Creator:
Wolfson, Sonia, 1903-1997  Search this
Topic:
Women art critics -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California, Southern  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10045
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212890
AAA_collcode_wolfsoni
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212890

Oral history interview with Sonia Wolfson, 1990 August 19

Interviewee:
Wolfson, Sonia, 1903-1997  Search this
Interviewer:
Fort, Ilene Susan  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Women art critics -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California, Southern  Search this
Art critics -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12404
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214558
AAA_collcode_wolfso90
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_214558
Online Media:

Art issues

Author:
Foundation for Advanced Critical Studies  Search this
Physical description:
13 v. : ill. ; 27 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Place:
California, Southern
Date:
1989
C1988-2001
20th century
Topic:
Art, Modern  Search this
Arts, Modern  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Call number:
AP1.A784 I86
N1.A784 I56
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_418483

LAX/94, the Los Angeles Exhibition / originated by the Los Angeles Municipal Gallery ; [edited by Catherine Gudis and Sherri Schottlaender]

Author:
Los Angeles Exhibition (1994 : Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, etc.)  Search this
Physical description:
164 p. : ill., map (some col.) ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles Region
California, Southern
Date:
1994
20th century
Topic:
Arts, Modern--Exhibitions  Search this
Arts, American--Exhibitions  Search this
Arts--Exhibitions  Search this
Call number:
NX511.L67 L42 1994
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_638356

Grand larceny : reclaiming stolen histories / [editors: Ken Gonzales Day, Glenn Kaino, Hillary Mushkin ; associate editor: Tania Martinez-Lemke ; created in association with: Daniel J. Martinez ; contributing editor: Claire Kalemkeris]

Author:
Gonzales-Day, Ken  Search this
Kaino, Glenn  Search this
Mushkin, Hillary  Search this
L.A. Projects (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. ; 18 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California, Southern
Date:
1994
20th century
Topic:
Arts, American--Political aspects  Search this
Arts, American--Social aspects  Search this
Arts, Modern--Political aspects  Search this
Arts, Modern--Social aspects  Search this
Call number:
N6530.C34 G72 1994
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_646196

The Carolyn and Jack Farris Collection : selected contemporary works, June 12-July 25, 1982 / organized by the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art ; [photography, Roy Porello]

Author:
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art  Search this
Subject:
Farris, Carolyn Art collections  Search this
Farris, Jack Art collections  Search this
Physical description:
67 p : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
California, Southern
Date:
1982
C1982
20th century
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Art--Private collections  Search this
Call number:
N5220.F24 L19
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_656966

GL3

Title:
Grand larceny : reclaiming stolen histories, volume three
Grand larceny : volume three
Author:
Martin, Kelly percussionist  Search this
Muhlert, Soraya  Search this
Physical description:
48, [4] p. : ill. ; 18 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California, Southern
Date:
1996
C1996
20th century
Topic:
Arts, American--Political aspects  Search this
Arts, American--Social aspects  Search this
Arts, Modern--Political aspects  Search this
Arts, Modern--Social aspects  Search this
Call number:
N6530.C34 G72 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_699554

Variations III : emerging artists in Southern California : an exhibition initiated and sponsored by the Fellows of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and organized by LACE--Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions / curator and essayist, Melinda Wortz

Author:
Wortz, Melinda  Search this
Fellows of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (Gallery)  Search this
University of California, Irvine Fine Arts Gallery  Search this
California State University, Northridge Art Gallery  Search this
Physical description:
79 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California, Southern
Date:
1987
20th century
Topic:
Arts, American--Exhibitions  Search this
Arts, Modern--Exhibitions  Search this
Call number:
NX510.C22 S68 1987X
NX510.C22S68 1987X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_381617

It happened at Pomona : art at the edge of Los Angeles 1969-1973 / [organized and edited by Rebecca McGrew ; co-organized and edited by Glenn Phillips ; co-edited by Marie B. Shurkus ; contributions by Thomas Crow ... et al.]

Author:
McGrew-Yule, Rebecca  Search this
Phillips, Glenn 1974-  Search this
Shurkus, Marie B  Search this
Crow, Thomas E. 1948-  Search this
Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.) Museum of Art  Search this
Pacific Standard Time (Exhibition)  Search this
Subject:
Glicksman, Hal  Search this
Winer, Helene 1946-  Search this
Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.) Department of Art  Search this
Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.) Art Gallery  Search this
Montgomery Art Center  Search this
Montgomery Art Gallery  Search this
Physical description:
381 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 34 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Interviews
Place:
California, Southern
Date:
2011
[2011]
20th century
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Artists  Search this
Call number:
N6530.C22 S6893 2011
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_972706

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By