Yesterday I drove behind the Orange Curtain to catch the last day of the exhibition Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury at Orange County’s gem of a little art museum, the Orange County Museum of Art. I was going to write a blog post about the awesome human size of this museum, how wonderful it is to see experimentation in exhibition design and content in a little museum (I watched a clip from Dobie Gillis and Road Runner cartoons!), and what an inspiring snapshot of California history was represented here.
But I went to the OCMA Web site to find a link to the info about the show and saw something way cool – an archive of *all* of their exhibitions, going back to 1962! Most of the exhibitions are only represented by a title and dates for the show. But it’s there! I was interested to find out that Chris Burden had a 20-year retrospective at OCMA in 1988, and Rico Lebrun had exhibits there in 1999 and 1964 (he painted a mural in a building in the Village Green, a housing experiment from the 1940s, and a national historic landmark here in LA.), and an exhibition in 1978 with the intriguing title The Figure: More or Less. I honestly have never seen this on a museum Web site. Others must be doing it….and more should!