Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs presents speaker series on urban and architectural history

The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs’ Museum Education and Tours Program for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House is pleased to announce a Hollyhock House Speakers Series. This periodic series of lectures, discussions, and presentations will cover topics relating to Los Angeles, its urban and architectural history, as well as architecture’s relation to the arts and media. The talks will take place at the historic Barnsdall Park site of Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Southern California commission, Hollyhock House. This historic setting highlights and reveals the dynamic relationship of architecture to the arts and shows the history and development of the city of Los Angeles.

The speaker series focuses on Hollywood movies and architecture in Los Angeles. The first talk, The Other Hollywood- Modern Architecture and the Los Angeles Film Community features Thomas Hines and will take place on September 3, 2008 at 7:30 pm. The lecture takes place in the Barnsdall Gallery Theater, with a reception following at Hollyhock House. The next event will be the lecture Hollywood’s Anti-Modernism: An Update and Reconsideration by Thom Andersen on October 1, 2008 at 7:30 pm, also followed by a reception.

Thomas S. Hines is professor of history and architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of numerous essays, articles, and reviews, as well as several book-length studies including monographs on architects Richard Neutra and Irving Gill that have become essential reading on their topic. Hines has received many grants and awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Getty. In 1994 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In The Other Hollywood, Hines shows that the prevailing taste in Hollywood, despite popular myth, was not all kitsch and glitz. Certain actors, writers, directors, and producers were sophisticated connoisseurs of the most advanced modern art and architecture. Actor Ramon Navarro’s house designed by Lloyd Wright, the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and Josef Von Sternberg’s house, designed by Richard Neutra, were authentic works of art, not merely popular imitations of older styles. Hines will explore the two dominant branches of architectural modernism: rationalism and expressionism in the works of Richard Neutra and Lloyd Wright.

The following month, on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 7:30 pm, documentary filmmaker Thom Andersen will give a presentation about architecture and movies. Andersen taught film history and filmmaking at SUNY Buffalo and Ohio State University. His films include Melting, Olivia’s Place, and Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer. His work with Noel Burch on the history of the Hollywood blacklist and its victims has produced the book Les Communists de Hollywood: Autre chose que des martyrs (1994) and the videotape Red Hollywood (1995). Most recently he wrote and directed the documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003). Winner of the Los Angeles Film Critic Association’s Independent/Experimental Film and Video Award, the documentary is an extended exploration of the official and unofficial history of the City as it has been portrayed on film.

Andersen’s presentation will take up where Los Angeles Plays Itself left off. By focusing on the role of Modernist design in Hollywood movies, Andersen, narrating a range of examples from movies, will explore the changing attitudes toward Modernism especially evident in the last several years.

For further information, please contact Gabriel Cifarelli at 323.644.6269 or gcifarelli@sbcglobal.net.