Hearst the Collector: Exhibition at LACMA

From November 9, 2008 through February 1, 2009 the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art will display an exhibition of works from the collection of William Randolph Hearst.

William Randolph Hearst (1860–1951) was one of the most influential forces in the history of American journalism. Mercilessly caricatured in Citizen Kane, Hearst in reality was a populist multimillionaire who crusaded against political corruption. He fostered simultaneous excellence and sensationalism in reporting, transformed the graphic design of newspapers, and was in the vanguard of the development of newsreels. Hearst also became a conspicuous movie producer, a voracious collector, and an outstanding benefactor of the early Los Angeles County Museum.

An obituary estimated that Hearst alone had accounted for 25 percent of the world’s art market during the 1920s and ’30s. When his empire teetered near bankruptcy in 1937, the collections were divided. Half was retained by Hearst, and half became his companies’ asset, much of it to be sold. The dispersal of most of this colossal hoard over the years, and Citizen Kane ‘s freakish image, hindered a correct assessment of Hearst’s achievements as a collector, as a thrillingly imaginative patron of architecture and design, and as the greatest individual donor to the Los Angeles County Museum. A remarkable figure in American history, Hearst was part of California’s heritage and a dominant personality in Los Angeles.

This unprecedented exhibition of approximately one hundred and seventy works, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will provide a better understanding of Hearst by exploring what he owned—and why—and by reassembling and contextualizing the best of what he collected, including many of his gifts to the Los Angeles County Museum.

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A “New and Native” Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene

The Arts and Crafts legacy of Charles and Henry Greene is examined in a major exhibition at the Huntington Library, from Oct. 18, 2008 to Jan. 26, 2009.

The Huntington, in partnership with the Gamble House, USC, presents the most comprehensive exhibition ever undertaken on the work of Arts and Crafts legends Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene—the first such exhibition to travel outside of California.

“A ‘New and Native’ Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene” is on view from Oct. 18 through Jan. 26, 2009, in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery at The Huntington. It then travels to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. (March 13– June 7, 2009), and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (July 14–Oct. 18, 2009).

This ambitious exhibition presents a chronological survey of the Greenes’ lives and careers over a nearly 90-year period. Representative objects from 30 of the brothers’ commissions, including significant examples from the best-known period of their work between 1906 and 1911, explores important points in the evolution of their unique design vocabulary. In all, the show features approximately 140 objects from the collections of The Huntington, the Gamble House, and other private and institutional lenders. Many of the works on view have never before been seen by the public. Included are examples of beautifully inlaid furniture, artfully executed metalwork, luminous art glass windows and light fixtures, and rare architectural drawings and photographs.

For more information, click here.