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Collection Guide
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Audio Visual Department reel to reel audio recordings AUD.001.001
AUD.001.001  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
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 Gorse, 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.
Background
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.
Extent
825.0 boxes 825 audio reels (ongoing)
Restrictions
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.
Availability
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.