Central Avenue and Beyond: The Harlem Renaissance in Los Angeles
October 24, 2009-
Exhibit displays materials from the Mayme A. Clayton collection for the first time
African American arts and culture exploded in early 20th century America, and the Harlem neighborhood of New York City was Ground Zero. Not as well known is what played out in Los Angeles at the same time—a flowering of African American arts, literature, and culture along Central Avenue. A new exhibition at The Huntington explores the Harlem Renaissance in Los Angeles, drawing on materials from The Huntington as well as items from the Mayme A. Clayton Library, which never before have been on public display. Among the more than 50 items exhibited are original manuscripts by poet Langston Hughes; photographs from the First Negro Classic Ballet, founded in Los Angeles in 1946; and rare editions of California-based African American periodicals such as the California Eagle and Flash magazine. Also featured are movie posters for black Hollywood films—such as The Exile, written and directed by Oscar Micheaux, and The Bronze Venus, starring Lena Horne; photos of jazz clubs from the period; and correspondence from W. E. B. DuBois and L.A. composer William Grant Still, among others.
The Mayme Clayton Library & Museum will serve as the first major West Coast African American research center; a repository for endangered African American collections in the 11 Western States; a museum for contemporary art; and a media center for film and live performances. The Mayme Clayton Library & Museum will stand as a shining international symbol of American pride, intelligence, creativity and nobility as it enthusiastically welcomes the world community.
For more information, please contact the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum at (310) 202-1647 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. MCLM 4130 Overland Avenue, Culver City, California 90230, http://claytonmuseum.org/