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American Expansion Reflected Through Artwork

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Today, Artbound goes back in time. For this throwback edition, we present five articles about artwork and exhibitions that examine the effects of American expansion and industrialization:

Savage Flowers and the Wild California Dream

The botanical illustrations in the Huntington's "When They Were Wild" exhibition function as a probe into what is real, what is fictional, and what lies somewhere in between.


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How the Gun Market Was Won

Frances Anderton examines the role of guns in American culture since Samuel Colt pioneered the assembly line production of firearms in the early 19th century.


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One Hundred and Fifty Years On: African American Military Portraits from the American Civil War

A California African American Museum exhibit describes a more complex picture of mid-nineteenth century America than is usually projected into the public realm.


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Craig Russell: Unearthing California's Musical Missions

What did California mission music sound like? Cal Poly music professor Craig Russell has spent three decades tracking down the answer.


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Witness to a Hanging: California's Haunted Trees

When a man dies hanging from a tree, is that tree an accessory to the act or a witness? The multiple second lives of the frontier "hang tree" reveal something unsettling about the Golden State.

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A portrait of Larry Baza from shoulders up. He's wearing thick, tortoise shell glasses, a beige plaid suit with yellow details and a gold tie. Baza is smiling and looking off to the side.

The Legacy of Larry Baza, San Diego Activist and Arts Advocate

A prominent advocate for the arts, BIPOC and LGBTQ causes, Larry Baza served on San Diego's Commission for Arts and Culture and was later appointed to the California Arts Council in 2016.
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Animated Series 'City of Ghosts' Explores L.A.'s Rich Histories for Kids

Award-winning animator Elizabeth Ito explores L.A.'s rich, diverse history in a hybrid documentary and animated series, "City of Ghosts."
Kid Congo Powers in the desert

Gente from La Puente: Underground Punk Icon Kid Congo Powers Still Rocks

Kid Congo Powers is a Brown, queer, underground punk glam rock guitar legend who grew up in the East L.A. suburb of La Puente, California. His work over decades with worldwide bands places him firmly in the L.A. and international punk music scene. He returns to the spotlight with a new album, video and even a line of eyewear.