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Audio Visual Department reel to reel audio recordings AUD.001.001
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Collection Details
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  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Arrangement note
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Conditions Governing Use note

  • Title: Audio Visual Department reel to reel audio recordings
    Identifier/Call Number: AUD.001.001
    Contributing Institution: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 825.0 boxes 825 audio reels (ongoing)
    Date (inclusive): 1963-1991
    Material Specific Details note: Items in this collection are recorded to magnetic audio tape, primarily five or seven-inch 1/4-inch open reels, but also on audio cassettes. These items require special equipment to be played. They are also subject to degredation over time and may be damaged during playing.
    creator: Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

    Biographical/Historical note

    The Los Angeles County Museum of Art was originally the Art Division of the Los Angeles County Museum of Science, History, and Art which opened at Exposition Park near downtown Los Angeles in 1913. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art or LACMA officially became an independent entity in 1961, and opened its own campus on Wilshire Blvd., about 7 miles northeast of the original museum, in 1965. The earliest recordings in this collection, dated in 1963 and 1964 were recorded at the museum's Exposition Park campus. LACMA has for many years recorded or filmed performances, interviews and other programming, even producing original educational films. The earliest recordings in this collection may have been created by an entity of the County of Los Angeles with most recordings being created by earlier permutations of the museum's current (2017) Program Audiovisual Department. Audio tours were produced by museum education staff, often with the support of LACMA docents and the museum's Docent Council.

    Scope and Contents note

    The Audio Visual Department reel to reel audio recordings collection consist of at least 825 1/4-inch open real audio tapes as well as audio cassettes dated as early as 1963 and as late as 1991. The processing of the collection is ongoing and total item counts for all series are expected to increase and date ranges are expected to expand. The collection is primarily composed of recorded lectures, presentations, panel discussions, interviews, question and answer sessions, exhibition audio tours, musical performances, and recordings of music and sound effects to accompany exhibitions, dance performances or films. Lectures, presentations, panels, and question and answer sessions are primarily on art historical topics directly related to the permanent art collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or to its current exhibitions at the time of the recording. Programing on topics of general interest to the museum's constituency are also included such as panel discussions sponsored by ASIFA, the International Animated Film Society, presentations relating to architecture from ancient to modern, including presentations by architectural historians David Gebhard and Esther McCoy and a talk given by novelist and former California gubernatorial candidate Upton Sinclair in 1964. Artists, critics, art historians, and LACMA curators are the most frequent participants. Artists represented include Edward Kienholz, Robert Irwin, Newton Harrison, Lee Mullican, Joe Young, Robert Motherwell, Gifford Phillips, Tony Berlant, Charles White, Loren Madsen, Mary Corse, Ed Moses, Chris Burden, Alexis Smith, Larry Bell, and Max Bill. Contemporary artists are often in conversation with LACMA modern art curator Maurice Tuchman or prominent critics such as Max Kozloff, David Antin, and Melinda Wortz. The collection also includes press conferences, public service announcements and radio interviews with museum curators, art collectors, donors, and administrators on issues important to the museum, including several recordings of the KPFK program The Sour Apple Tree hosted by Clare Spark Loeb. The most notable recorded musical performances in the collection are of the Monday Evening Concerts series that debuted many contemporary classical compositions. Other musical performances included international music related to current exhibitions of, for example, Indonesian or African art. Recorded tours are primarily Acoustigiuide tours of LACMA exhibitions narrated by docents or actors such as Vincent Price who appears on the tour for The Masterworks of Mexican Art in 1963 and Stirling Holloway who speaks on the tour of Billy Al Bengston in 1968 along with the artist himself and architect Frank Gehry who designed the exhibition.

    Arrangement note

    This collection is arranged into five series, as they were categorized by the creating department: Recorded Lectures (with item numbers beginning with "RL"), Recorded Interviews (with item numbers beginning with "RI"), Recorded Performances (with item numbers beginning with "RP"), Recorded Tours (with item numbers beginning with "RT"), and Recorded Music (with item numbers beginning with "RM"). The order of the series within the collection was determined by the archivist. The types of recordings placed into each series are not always consistent. For example, the Recorded Lectures series includes panel discussions involving several individuals as well as formal lectures and what would strictly be considered an interview (in which one individual asks another questions). Similarly, the Recorded Interviews series also includes public service announcements and group discussions, with the most consistent similarity being that the content was intended for radio broadcast.
    Within each series, the recordings are arranged by item number. Item numbers usually include a concluding numeral of "5" or "7" denoting a five or seven-inch audio reel. The preceding digits of the number may be repeated and only differentiated by this concluding numeral. Reels were numbered roughly in the order they were created in. The item numbers correspond to physical audio reels and not to specific works, performances, or programs. Several unrelated programs may be recorded onto the same reel.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    This collection consists primarily of magnetic audio tape that may be damaged or destroyed when played. Only recordings that have already been digitized are available for immediate access and are indicated in the finding aid. Please contact the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library by telephone at 323-857-6118 or email library@lacma.org for questions regarding access to recordings that have not been digitized.

    Conditions Governing Use note

    Contact the Balch Research Library at 323-856-6118 or library@lacma.org for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Binney, Edwin, 1925
    Casey, Bernie
    Feinblatt, Ebria
    Gebhard, David
    Harrison, Newton A., 1932-
    Irwin, Robert, 1928-
    Johnson, Ben B.
    Lewis, Samella S.
    Livingston, Jane
    McCoy, Esther
    Pal, Pratapaditya
    Price, Vincent, 1911-1993
    Soltes, Ori Z.
    Spark, Clare
    Stafford, Proctor
    Tuchman, Maurice
    Upton Sinclair, 1878-1968
    Wayne, June, 1918-2011
    White, Charles, 1918-1979
    Wortz, Melinda
    Art Museums -- California -- Los Angeles -- Exhibitions
    Art museums--California--Los Angeles
    Art patrons
    Museums--California--Los Angeles--History--20th century.
    Sound Recordings