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Skirball Cultural Center

2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 - (310) 440-4500
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Poster for Harvey (1950), © Universal International. Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Shown in center: James Stewart.

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950

Through March 1, 2015


ADMISSION

  • Included with Museum admission:
  • $10 General
  • $7 Seniors and Full-Time Students
  • $5 Children 2–12
  • FREE to Members and Children under 2
  • FREE to all on Thursdays


ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

You love their movies. Now discover their stories. The exhibition Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950 explores how the experiences of German-speaking exiles and émigrés who fled Nazi Europe—many of them Jews—influenced the classic films of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Learn how beloved movies such as Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, Casablanca, and Ninotchka were shaped by the light and dark experiences of these pioneering film artists.

The exhibition spotlights acclaimed of actors, directors, writers, and composers, focusing on their impact on American cinema and culture. Film directors—including such luminaries as Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, and Fred Zinnemann—made their way to California and shaped the look of classic movies. Oscar-winning composers such as Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Franz Waxman created the sound, and acclaimed writers—from Lion Feuchtwanger to Salka Viertel—the stories. Already established émigrés, such as producer Carl Laemmle, director Ernst Lubitsch, actress Marlene Dietrich, and talent agent Paul Kohner, helped the new arrivals find their path in Hollywood.

Through a never-before-assembled selection of film footage, drawings, props, costumes, posters, photographs, and memorabilia, Light & Noir tells the story of Hollywood’s formative era through the lens of the émigré experience, focusing on genres in which the exiles and émigrés were especially productive: the exile film, the anti-Nazi film, film noir, and comedy. On view are costumes worn by Marlene Dietrich, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, and Joan Crawford, as well as one of Billy Wilder’s Academy Awards, Ernst Lubitsch’s twenty-five year anniversary album, the Max Factor Scroll of Fame, and original props from the set of Rick’s Café in Casablanca.

The exhibition demonstrates how the experiences of exodus and exile affected the lives and work of émigrés in many different ways. It is a story of immigration, acculturation, and innovation that intersects with the flourishing of Hollywood as an American cultural phenomenon.

Organized by the Skirball Cultural Center and co-presented with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


SPONSORS

LIGHT & NOIR: EXILES AND ÉMIGRÉS IN HOLLYWOOD, 1933–1950 AND ITS RELATED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AT THE SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER ARE MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE FOLLOWING DONORS:

The David Berg Foundation
Carsey Family Foundation 
Max Factor Family Foundation
The Kallick Family in Memory of Sidney S. Kallick
Sharon and Mitchell Litt
Richard Orgell Family Foundation in Memory of Jack Karp
Margaret Black and John Ptak 
Skirball Volunteer Service Council
Lannette and Scott Turicchi
Ellen and Ken Ziffren

German Consulate HIllside Sony

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY:

Catherine Glynn Benkaim and Barbara Timmer
Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles
Anonymous in memory of Edith Meyer

ALONG WITH SUPPORT FROM:

Austrian Consulate General


MEDIA SPONSORS

MEDIA SUPPORT PROVIDED BY:

KCETLos Angeles Magazine



EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS:


RELATED TO THIS EXHIBITION:

Upcoming

Private Guided Tours

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950
Groups of 10 or more are invited to book a private, docent-led tour.

Film

The Woman in the Window
Thursday, January 8, 8:00 p.m.*

Film

Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood
Sunday, March 1, 11:00 a.m.

Film

The File on Thelma Jordon
Thursday, February 12, 8:00 p.m.*

Film

Pitfall and Criss Cross—Double-Feature Film Screening
Sunday, January 25, 2:00 p.m.

Readings and Talks

Salons: Émigré Directors and Émigré Composers
Sundays, January 11 and February 15, 2:00 p.m.

Film

Somewhere in the Night
Tuesday, January 6, 1:30 p.m.

For Families

Skirball Playdate: Mildred’s Purse
Sunday, February 15, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

For Members

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950 Members-Only Tour
Wednesday, February 25, 2:00 p.m.

For Members

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950 Membership Offer
Through March 1, 2015

Film

Act of Violence
Tuesday, February 10, 1:30 p.m.

Film

Confessions of a Nazi Spy
Tuesday, February 3, 1:30 p.m.

Film

The Stranger
Tuesday, January 13, 1:30 p.m.

Gallery Tours

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950
Tuesday–Sunday, except December 25 and January 1, 1:00 p.m.

Courses

Literary Los Angeles
Wednesdays, January 21, February 18, March 18, 7:30–9:00 p.m. (3 sessions)

Past

Readings and Talks

Émigré Writers: Salka Viertel and the Power of Conversation
Sunday, November 16, 2:00 p.m.

Comedy

UnCabaret—“Noir-vember”
Friday, November 21, 8:00 p.m.

Readings and Talks

Gabriela Hernandez—Bésame Cosmetics
Sunday, December 7, 2:30 p.m.

Readings and Talks

Kimberly Truhler—The History of Fashion in Film Noir
Sunday, December 7, 1:00 p.m.

For Members

Vincent Brook
Monday, October 6, 1:00 p.m.

Gallery Tours

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950
Tuesday–Sunday, except December 25 and January 1, 1:00 p.m.


PRESS RELEASE:

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950
September 4, 2014

  1. John L. Seitz So glad you are doing this. My cinematographer father, John F. Seitz, did several noirs including Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard with Billy Wilder. June 21, 2014
  2. Skirball Cultural Center Thank you for writing to us, Mr. Seitz. We appreciate your father's work a lot. He had such a good eye and visual sensibility! Both Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard will be featured in the exhibition. We do hope that you will come and see it when it opens this fall. June 25, 2014
  3. Arianne Ulmer Cipes I am delighted to see that you are doing this series. I am the daughter of the director Edgar G. Ulmer and president of the Edgar G. Ulmer Preservation Corp. Are you including any of his works in your exhibition on émigré directors? August 17, 2014
  4. Skirball Cultural Center Thank you for your nice comment, Ms. Cipes, and for reaching out to us. Yes, your father will be represented in the exhibition with material from his film Detour. We all look very much forward to presenting this amazing legacy at the Skirball! I hope you will come and see it. August 19, 2014
  5. Bob Koster I have never before seen an exhibit constructed with such intellectual thought and clarity as this. It is entertaining, educational, and riveting in its presentation. Anyone with the slightest interest in the history of the period of the exiles from Hitler's Europe will find this fascinating. A great tribute to the people who lived it, to the people who study it, and to those dedicated folks who so brilliantly and lovingly constructed this marvelous exhibition. October 23, 2014
  6. Skirball Cultural Center Thank you so much for your encouraging words about our exhibition. The legacy of your father, the filmmaker Henry Koster, and your insights about it certainly helped us make the exhibition a compelling story. Many thanks for your support! October 24, 2014

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