Interpreting the New History of the Old West

Don’t Shed a Tear That the 19th-Century Construct of the American West Is Riding off Into the Sunset

Not too long ago, historians of the American West joined their artistic brethren in celebrating what we now think of as the “Old West.” For historians and artists, the “winning of the West” was a glorious achievement that heralded the triumph of “civilization” over “savagery.” Indeed, by the conventional scholarly wisdom and orthodox artistic vision, the vanquishing of Indians and the march of manifest destiny made America great and made Americans special.

In recent decades, however, most historians—and many Americans—have rejected this perspective. Dismantling cherished fables about the Old West and …

More In: Los Angeles art

Ed Ruscha and the Art of Being in Los Angeles

The Artist Captures the Deeply Two-Dimensional City Like No One Else

Ed Ruscha is expected to reappear in Los Angeles this summer, after having been absent for a decade. Ruscha is the artist who famously didn’t leave, when leaving L.A. for …

Want to See La Brea Avenue Covered in Snow?

Images From ‘Lay of the Land’ at Von Lintel Gallery Put Improbable Views of L.A. on Display

La Brea Avenue covered in snow? That’s just one unfamiliar—and improbable—view of Los Angeles on display at the Von Lintel Gallery in Culver City, along with an airplane flying nearly …

If You’re a Museum, L.A. Is Semi-Happy To Support You

But, Say the Heads of City’s Major Institutions, It’s Getting A Lot Better

The museums of Los Angeles have enormous potential. But, said Jori Finkel, arts reporter at the Los Angeles Times, they “are also vulnerable.” A case in point is the Los …

Was Ever a City More Bewildering?

Wim Wenders, John Singleton, Richard Rodriguez, and Others Grapple With the Hidden, Violent, Beautiful, Sunny, Dreamy Mystery That Is Los Angeles

Images of Los Angeles in art, film, television, and advertising have captivated global audiences for decades. This weekend, a group of filmmakers, critics, historians, and writers visited Zócalo at the …

What Movie Best Captures L.A.?

(Other Than Chinatown, That Is)


Hundreds, even thousands, of movies are set in Los Angeles. But do they get Los Angeles right? Most people who live here would say no.  In advance of a Zócalo/Getty …