Art Exhibition

Ladd & Kelsey: Noble Places

On view through May 26

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“The success of a culture is measured by history in terms of the civilization’s architectural and artistic achievement.”

– Ladd & Kelsey, Architects, letter to newly elected President Nixon

Operational from 1959 to 1982, the work of architects Ladd & Kelsey has left a lasting impact on California Modernism and the USC Style, with a body of work more elegant and formal than what was culturally popular at midcentury: the post and beam style and Case Study House Program by Arts & Architecture magazine.

From their time as fellow students at USC, Ladd & Kelsey shared a design language that unified them as partners and enabled a complementary balance of their strengths. Thornton Ladd brought to the table strong conceptual and romantic composition skills, while John Kelsey’s deep talent in form, volume and light, and his business acumen allowed the firm to grow. 

Based in Pasadena, California, Ladd & Kelsey won high-profile commissions, assisted, in part, by Ladd’s family connections. Yet, the partnership’s creative vision and execution skills earned the practice a thriving client roster of influential businesses, institutions, and individuals, building a general practice with a project list ranging from museums, banks, hospitals, academic buildings, single family homes, housing developments, houses of worship, shopping malls, and gardens.

The exhibition presents period photographs of Ladd & Kelsey projects taken by Julius Shulman, Ezra Stoller, and Wayne Thom, as well as ephemera such as vintage design magazines and movie posters for films featuring the architects’ visually striking work. 

Douglas Kirkland

On view through April 21

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In a unique presentation of works by the legendary Hollywood photographer, Douglas Kirkland, the exterior walls of the PVAC campus will be wrapped with billboard-scale selections of his iconic images.

An award-winning celebrity photographer, Kirkland joined Look Magazine in his early twenties, then Life Magazine during the golden age of photojournalism in the 1960s and 1970s. He simultaneously contributed to other major world publications, including The London Sunday Times Magazine, The New York Times Magazine and Town & Country.

Since 1960, Kirkland has photographed over 2,000 assignments and more than 600 major celebrities from Marilyn Monroe to Angelina Jolie. He worked on the sets of over 150 motion pictures, including The Sound of Music (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Out of Africa (1985) Titanic (1997) Moulin Rouge (2000), Australia (2007), The Great Gatsby (2011), and The 33 (2014).

His books include Light Years (1989), Icons (1993), Legends (1999), Body Stories (1998), Freeze Frame (2007), An Evening with Marilyn (2002), Coco Chanel: Three Weeks (2008), The New York Times #1 best-selling James Cameron's Titanic (1997), Michael Jackson the Making of Thriller (2010), and With Marilyn (2012). A monograph on his career, Douglas Kirkland - A Life in Pictures, was released in September of 2013. His newest book, Physical Poetry Alphabet, was released in June 2018 by Sylph Editions, London.