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Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition records, 1973-2003 EXH.001.001
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Collection Details
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  • Arrangement note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • Custodial History note
  • Appraisal note

  • Title: Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition records
    Identifier/Call Number: EXH.001.001
    Contributing Institution: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 121.45 Linear feet 94 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1973-2003
    creator: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Exhibitions Division.

    Arrangement note

    When the boxes were originally discovered no series or arrangement was immediately apparent. The series in this collection were determined largely by looking for similarities in box numbering, folder labeling, handwriting, date range, and subject matter.
    The first series, consisting of exhibtion files, is arranged into four subseries, arranged in chronological order according to the earliest exhibition date present in the series. The original order of each of these subseries seems to have been alphabetical but under non-standardized headings. For example, under the name of the artist featured in an exhibition as opposed to the exhibitions official title or by the acronym for an exhibitions name. The files are now grouped into subseries by official exhibition title (where one exists) and ordered alphabetically. The original headings for folders were otherwise retained. No effort was made to arrange folders realated to each exhibition or items within each folder.
    General Alphabetical files are arranged alphabetically by folder title.
    Reading files are arranged chronologically.

    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.

    Scope and Contents note

    These records consist of 115.15 linear feet, 91.25 boxes of records created during the planning, and execution of exhibitions and, to a lesser extent, public programming (including the Film and Music Programs) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 1973 through 2003. The records also include some materials related other public museum activities, such as film and music programs.
    The Exhibitions series consists of 87.4 linear feet or 69.75 boxes of records for exhibitions organized by LACMA, touring to LACMA, or under consideration to tour to LACMA from 1973 to 2003. These records also contain a few files related to events held at LACMA that were not exhibitions. The exhibition series seems to have been created by exhibitions staff members Myrna Smoote and John Passi and their assistants.
    The General Alphabetical Files series consists of 20 linear feet or 15.5 boxes of records dating from 1976 through 2000. Based on salutations and signatures on correspondence and memos, these files appear to have been created by Elizabeth Algermissen, who held several positions at LACMA including Chief of the Exhibitions Division. Subjects in this series sometimes correspond to specific exhibitions but are more likely to be related to general administrative matters relating to exhibitions such as ticketing, attendance, and Acoustiguide tours for exhibitions. Subjects addressed in this series also include events hosted at LACMA such as special installations and the Much Ado About Nothing Fund-Raiser; festivals such as The Museum of Television and Radio Festival; music programs such as Monday Night Music; as well as exhibitions, publications, grants, and museum attendance. Types of records include memos, brochures, slides, reports, contracts, and applications.
    The Reading Files series consists of 7.75 linear feet or 6 boxes of records, organized by month and year. Each folder includes correspondence, memos, press releases, and other materials of relevance to LACMA's exhibition and public programming activity. It is likely that some of these materials are duplicated in the Exhibitions or General Alphabetical Files series. These files were created for use as reference files for exhibitions staff members John Passi and Myrna Smoot.
    Budget files, confidential human resources paperwork or records, blank forms, multiple copies of documents, and payment files have been removed from the collection.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment only through the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library. Telephone 323-857-6118 or email library@lacma.org. Some materials may be of a personal or private nature as determined by musem policy or the law and are not available for research.

    Preferred Citation note

    [Description of item], Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition records, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library, EXH.001.001; 21 (24).

    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.

    Custodial History note

    This collection was created by staff involved in planning and organizing exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Musem of Art.
    This collection was likely in a museum storage facility on Pico Blvd. which suffered a fire during the riots in 1992. Efforts to put out the fire flooded the space and for whatever materials were recoverable, the boxes likely had to be replaced.

    Appraisal note

    Files of paid invoices, budget back up, blank forms, excessive copies of documents, and sensitive human resources related materials were removed from the collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art. -- Exhibitions
    Art Museums -- California -- Los Angeles -- Exhibitions