Festival of Books
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Vincent Price
L.A.'s postwar art scene: Hot rods and hedonism
L.A.'s postwar art scene: Hot rods and hedonism

In September 1945, under a pall of ocher smog and summer heat, Los Angeles entered the postwar world. The city then was bigger, wealthier and more diverse than ever. Its established people — mostly past middle age and conservative, a few who were really rich — still had the narrowness of the Midwest towns from which many of them had come in the 1920s. The city's new people — Okies and Arkies, black Southerners, and white ethnics — had arrived with the war. Few of them had much interest in art. Of course, there was art in Los Angeles they could have seen. Wide-shouldered men in post office murals reaped and forged and lifted up symbols of a better America to...