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CAMERON PHOTOGRAPHY LEADS THREE FALL SHOWS

The work of English photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) will launch Los Angeles’ fall season in three locations: the J. Paul Getty Museum, Loyola Marymount University’s Laband Gallery and the Grunwald Gallery at UCLA.

“Whisper of the Muse: Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron,” at the Getty Sept. 10 through Nov. 16, surveys her career with a selection from the 225 Cameron photographs that the museum has acquired since 1984.

“Whisper of the Muse: Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron/The Lord Overstone Album” opens at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 12 and continues through Oct. 25. Also drawn from the holdings of the Getty, this exhibition consists of a collection of 110 works chosen by Cameron in 1865 (two years after she took up photography) for her friend and sponsor Lord Overstone.

The UCLA show presents 30 portraits by Cameron drawn from the special collections division of the university’s Research Library.

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Born in Calcutta, the daughter of James Pattle, an official of the East India Company, Julia Margaret Pattle married jurist and intellectual Charles May Cameron in 1838. They were associated with a circle of writers and thinkers including Thomas Carlyle, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Charles Darwin. Cameron started working in photography at age 48 and soon achieved a highly personal style, ignoring established formulas for the use of photographic materials. Like her contemporaries, the Pre-Raphaelite painters, she depicted archetypes based on mythological and biblical sources. Among her most celebrated works are revealing photographs of eminent Victorians she knew as friends, such as Ellen Terry and Sir John Herschel.

The Southern California Research Center of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art is planning a symposium on “The Visual Arts and Myths of Southern California, 1900-1950,” Oct. 18 and 19.

Director Stella Paul said the program was developed in response to unusual interest in this region’s art history. The symposium will consist of nine lectures examining early modernism in Southern California.

Painting, design, architecture, photography and experimental film making will be discussed by Kevin Starr (Stanford and San Francisco State universities), Neil Harris (University of Chicago), Frances Pohl (Pomona College), Constance W. Glenn (Cal State University Long Beach), Bram Dijkstra (University of San Diego), Susan C. Larsen (University of Southern California), William Moritz and David Gebhard (UC Santa Barbara) and David G. De Long (University of Pennsylvania).

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The symposium is free (except for a fee for lunch Oct. 18). Call (818) 405-7847 for registration materials and additional information.

“Threshold,” a new environmental installation by Connie Zehr, opens Saturday in the Art Gallery of Cal State Fullerton, on view through Oct. 1. Using the gallery structure the way a painter would use a canvas, Zehr has composed a work dealing with “thresholds of time and reality.”

Five major elements inhabit the space: “the sleeping man as threshold,” “the water wall,” “the red mass,” “the dolphin” and “the draped female figure as column, as tree,” all mythological in nature and life-size or larger.

Unlike Zehr’s earlier installations, which were to be contemplated and not entered, “Threshold” is conceived as a space within which the viewer may move freely and observe the individual elements whose presences hover between threat and promise, balanced for “a moment of equilibrium.” Information: (714) 773-3262.

“Looking In, Looking Out: Contemporary Portraits by Women Artists” opens today at Montgomery Art Gallery, Pomona College in Claremont, through Oct. 20.

Organized by curator Mary McNaughton, the exhibition examines different approaches to portraiture by painters D. J. Hall, Madden Harkness, Sandra Mendelsohn Rubin, Sylvia Shap, Jeanne Steffan, Joyce Treiman and Ruth Weisberg alongside sculptors Barbara Spring, Alison Saar and photographer Mihoko Yamagata.

McNaughton will discuss the exhibition next Sunday at 1 p.m. in Lyman Hall of the Thatcher Music Building at Pomona College. The lecture will be followed by a reception in the gallery, 2 to 5 p.m.

Los Angeles artists Carlos Almaraz, Tony Berlant, James Doolin, Jim Lawrence and Terry Schoonhoven were selected from more than 35 candidates to receive commissions for works destined to grace the lobby of the Wilshire Landmark, a 24-story office building in Brentwood.

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Sculptor Michael Davis was chosen from a field of 115 competitors to design a major outdoor piece for the front of the Laguna Art Museum. He has created an interior/exterior installation using marble, terrazzo, copper, bronze and aluminum and titled it “Remnant.” “My construction is a collective of fragments. The installation forms via viewer closure a structure within a structure, a ‘find,’ ” the artist said. The work was underwritten by a gift from Cynthia and Eric Wittenberg.

Four advisers representing the Los Angeles art and business communities have been appointed to serve on the art advisory committee of the Community Redevelopment Agency’s Art in Public Places program.

Noriko Fujinami, curator and former studio director for artist Robert Graham; Al Nodal, director of the Otis/Parsons Exhibition Center; Michael Davis, sculptor, and Barry Sanders, partner and manager of International Practice Group, Latham and Watkins, and a collector of contemporary art, were selected from 151 applicants.

Semifinalists included 10 artists, 20 art professionals and six representatives of the business community. Alan Sieroty, vice president of the city’s Cultural Affairs Commission, is the fifth member of the panel. CRA Board Chairman Jim Wood will select the chairperson.


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