Thursday at 7:30 p.m. we’ll present “The Origin of the American Work of Art,” the first of three free lectures this week in Friends’ Hall. What is American about American art? Can art change America? How might aesthetic education transform the social and economic ideals of the nation? Bill Brown, professor of American culture at the University of Chicago and the Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow, will discuss case studies from the 1840s to the 1950s that addressed these questions.
Friday at 2:30 p.m. is “Beauty Within and Beauty Without: California’s Native Peoples and Wildflower Fields,” another free lecture in Friends’ Hall. Botanist M. Kat Anderson, author of Tending the Wild, looks back at how deeply intertwined wildflowers were with California Indian culture, and how indigenous people contributed to the diversity and abundance of wildflowers through judicious gathering strategies and stewardship of the landscape. A book signing follows the program.
And coming next Monday—on April 22—is “Paving the Past: The Los Angeles River as Flood Control Device,” this year’s Trent Dames Lecture in the History of Civil Engineering. As Los Angeles grew to metropolitan maturity with the arrival of the 20th century, the tiny and generally unreliable Los Angeles River—prone to flooding with the arrival of seasonal rains—became seen as an obstacle to regional growth. And so it was paved. Bill Deverell, Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West and chair of USC’s history department, explores this history and investigates the ways in which large-scale environmental projects such as cementing a river can inevitably reveal much about regional culture and identity. This free lecture is at 7:30 p.m. in Friends’ Hall.
For information on events that require registration and/or additional fees, please check out the calendar on The Huntington’s website.
Kate Lain is the new media developer in the office of communications at The Huntington.