Long Beach Architecture Exhibit Opens on Feb. 6 at University Art Gallery
“Early Long Beach Architecture,” curated by Louise Ivers, professor of art at California State University, Dominguez Hills, opens at the University Art Gallery on Wednesday, Feb. 6, continuing through March 5. The exhibit will feature the works of California architects Henry F. Starbuck, Robert F. Train, Robert E. Williams, J. Cather Newsom, Garrett and Bixby, and John C. Austin represented in historic postcards, contemporary photographs by Ivers, and watercolor paintings by Long Beach artist Carl Aldana.
“The architecture of Long Beach documents the history of the city, first as two ranchos in the Mexican period, then as a seaside resort, later as a booming city and port,” says Ivers, who has been photographing and researching Long Beach architecture for the last 30 years. “Most of the buildings are typical of those in not only California, but also throughout the United States during the time between 1885 and 1949.”
An opening reception will be held in the University Art Gallery on Feb. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. Ivers will lead guests on a tour of the exhibit at 6 p.m. On display will be photographs and historic images of several turn-of-the-century buildings, including the DeCoudres house on Long Beach Boulevard, the First National Bank by Train and Williams, the first Masonic Temple by Henry Starbuck, many homes in Willmore City, Long Beach’s original name, and others on Cedar and Chestnut Avenues in downtown Long Beach.
“Early Long Beach Architecture” is the fifth in a series on Long Beach architecture curated by Ivers and presented by the University Art Gallery. Her other exhibitions include “Modernistic Architecture in Long Beach, 1928-1937” (1985); “Cecil Schilling: Jazz Age Architect” (1994); “Hugh Davies: Architect and Innovator” (2002); and “An Architectural Stylist: W. Horace Austin and Eclecticism in California” (2005).
Ivers, who is a member of the board of directors and newsletter editor of Long Beach Heritage, the city’s preservation society, says that her inspiration for the show came from the buildings themselves, which she photographed while walking or driving up and down what were the original streets of Long Beach. She is nearing completion of a book on early Long Beach architecture starting with the Mexican Colonial ranchos period up to the city in the 1940s.
An expert on California and Southwestern architecture, Ivers has written extensively for several architecture and historical publications, including the Southern California Quarterly, the journal of the Historical Society of Southern California. Her photographs have been exhibited in a number of venues including CSU Dominguez Hills, the Art Institute of Southern California, the Mid-Hudson Arts and Science Center in Poughkeepsie, NY, and the Lubbock Fine Arts Center in Lubbock, Tex.
Admission to the University Art Gallery and related events is free. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and is in La Corte Hall A-107.
- Kathy Zimmerer and Joanie Harmon