196 pages
    7 x 9 inches
    ISBN 1-890449-16-4

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"Southern California is a place that has brought out the best in a wide array of artists and, in particular, photographers. Now Michael Dawson provides us with fresh insight as to why the sun-drenched landscape inspired photographers to look toward a sleek modernist future instead of a quaint rustic past. Through his insightful selection of key figures and thoughtful discourse on their lives and work, Dawson provides us with a series of important touchstones by which to gauge the evolution of the photographic medium as it blossomed on the far side of America during the early 20th century."
Beth Gates Warren, historian, former Director Sotheby's New York

"Los Angeles is assumed to be a place whose history is less momentous than momentary. LA's EARLY MODERNS begins the long rehabilitation of our understanding of the unique and important histories of Southern California. The events and characters presented by Victoria Dailey, Michael Dawson and Natalie Shivers intertwine to weave the rich texture upon which sit contemporary identities and the very concept of the "new" in Southern California."
— Tim B. Wride, Associate Curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“The old problems have been solved and the styles are dead...The architect has finally discovered the medium of his art: S P A C E. A new architectural problem has been born.”
—Rudolph Schindler, 1912

Galka Scheyer, Walter and Louise Arensberg, Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler, Will Connell, Lloyd Wright, Norman Bel Geddes, Edward Weston, John Cage, Anais Nin, Jake Zeitlin, Merle Armitage, Harriet and Sam Freeman, and several dozen others: this was a circle. It isn’t just that they knew one another, though that is abundantly clear. The modernist pioneers of Los Angeles art and architecture made statements in their work and legacies, but they were every bit as much a community as they were individual satellites of expression. These people gathered in solidarity, they met as friends and lovers, and the shared excitement over their important breaks with tradition. In modest but lasting ways, they changed Los Angeles forever. There’s history in that, and there’s inspiration as well.

This book is about a secret Los Angeles, a Los Angeles filled with optimism about a different kind of “city of the future.” The reader will enter a rarified social realm where client, artist, architect, lover, patron, and publisher merged in a creative ferment that occurs spontaneously and magically at rare moments in a city’s life.