Spectacular Illumination: Neon Los Angeles, 1925-1965 is a spectacular collection of vintage photography that showcases the glowing neon heritage of the City of Angels. More than 200 images fill its pages. L.A. has long been recognized as the most vibrant city in America, and part of its radiance comes from streets lined with neon signs during the Golden Age of neon from 1925 to 1965. Photographer and historian Tom Zimmerman shows images that depict, in both color and in black-and-white, what Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and countless other writers have tried to put into words.
What? Los Angeles was the original wine country of California, leading the state’s wine production for more than a century? Los Angeles County was the agricultural center of North America until the 1950s? And where today’s freeways soar, cows calmly chewed their cud? How could that be? Los Angeles, the capital of asphalt and Kleig lights, was once a paradise filled with grapevines and bovines, so abundant with Nature’s gifts that no one could imagine a more pastoral place? Los Angeles County was the center of an agricultural empire. Today, it is the nation’s most populous urban metropolis. What happened? Where did the green go?
For the first time in one volume, scholars from across America write about Judith F. Baca and The Great Wall of Los Angeles. Their captivating text explores the “why” of the world’s longest mural and the “how” of its creation. BACA: Art, Collaboration & Mural Making showcases Judith F. Baca, a woman so inspired by the work of Mexico’s Los Tres Grandes—José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros—that she collaborated with hundreds of Southern California colleagues and students to paint an unvarnished history of Los Angeles. The result: a mural that has been viewed by millions and has become a cultural landmark in the city it documents.
by John Nava