Through the Lens of Charles Fletcher Lummis | KCET
Through the Lens of Charles Fletcher Lummis
Artbound revisits early Los Angeles to explore one of its key and most controversial figures: Charles Fletcher Lummis. As a writer and editor of the L.A. Times, an avid collector and preservationist, an Indian rights activist, and founder of L.A.’s first museum, Lummis’ brilliant and idiosyncratic personality captured the ethos of an era and a region. Watch Artbound's season eight debut episode, "Charles Lummis: Reimagining the American West," premiering Tuesday, May 10 at 9 p.m., or check for rebroadcasts here.
It seems only fitting that Charles Fletcher Lummis, journalist and champion of California culture, would pick up the camera when he did -- adding another tool to his arsenal in order to continue a decades-long journey of preserving the past.
The avid explorer had already turned to other mediums to secure Southwestern history: Lummis used his writings to document the sentiments of the times; as a collector he amassed priceless Native American artifacts, pieces destined for conservation inside museum boundaries; and he took on the role of ethnomusicologist to archive hundreds of old Mexican folk songs in the form of wax cylinder recordings. Lummis’ work within the photographic discipline permitted him to paint a crisper picture of the communities, landmarks, and environs that made an impact on his world.
Lummis’ legacy is marked by an extensive creative output, and the thousands of negatives he produced throughout his lifetime certainly stand out among his many undertakings. Lummis rarely stood still, and a bulk of the images that constitute his collection were shot during travels to New Mexico -- the same state where the multi-disciplinarian spent a few years recuperating following a paralysis and related health issues experienced in Los Angeles.
The following photo essay is comprised of pictures from the late 1800s to early 1900s that depict indigenous Pueblo peoples Lummis met along the way. The intimate portraits present a view of multigenerational families, and mundane activities prevalent in village life.
- 1 of 335
- next ›
From the typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to the Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. Learn how the World War II incarceration affected their lives and creations.
"Artbound" looks at the dinnerware of Heath Ceramics and a design that has stood the test of time since the company began in the late 1940’s.
Inspired by Oaxacan traditions, Dia de Los Muertos was brought to L.A. in the '70s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity. It has since grown in proportions and is celebrated around the world.
Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late 60’s and early 70’s, a time defined by political movements across the country.
A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator, Jeffrey Deitch.
- 1 of 11
- next ›