Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories
Through March 12, 2023
Discover the extraordinary stories behind three hundred years of American quilts. Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories features works by more than forty artists, including Harriet Powers, Bisa Butler, and Sanford Biggers. Come celebrate the artistry and vision of a diverse and largely under-recognized group of creators in an exhibition that brings to light stories that enrich, deepen, and complicate our understanding of the American experience.
Together for Good: Caron Tabb and the Quilting Corner
Through March 12, 2023
See Caron Tabb’s dramatic work Fabric of Humanity—Repairing My World alongside an all-ages community quilt-making activity.
Talking Back to Power: Projects by Aram Han Sifuentes
April 14–September 4, 2022
Exploring ideas of identity, power, and belonging in the United States, Talking Back to Power: Projects by Aram Han Sifuentes presents garments, banners, samplers, quilts, and sculptures that highlight American immigrant experiences.
“I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli
April 14–September 18, 2022
More than a place to get a meal, the Jewish deli is a community forged in food. The exhibition “I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli explores how Jewish immigrants, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe, imported and adapted traditions to create a uniquely American restaurant.
Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds
October 7, 2021–February 20, 2022
More than fifty years ago, a television show called Star Trek broke ground with its daring vision—an inclusive cast of humans and interplanetary beings cooperating to overcome challenges as they explore the cosmos. With themes of heroism, optimism, equality, and humanity, the franchise has continued to pose questions about real life on Earth as much as in its fictional future worlds.
Ai Weiwei: Trace
May 15–August 1, 2021
A moving depiction of courage in the face of authoritarianism, Ai Weiwei: Trace illuminates the power of resistance.
Sustain: From Loss to Renewal
May 1, 2021–March 20, 2022
Responding to the COVID-19 crisis, Sustain: From Loss to Renewal explored meaningful expressions of grief and resilience. This three-part installation looked to Jewish traditions of mourning and the Los Angeles art community to guide us through our collective grief and move forward.
Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope
January 21–May 31, 2021
Facing a changing labor market and diminishing opportunities, individuals and families across the United States are struggling to survive in the world’s wealthiest country.
The Official Unofficial Voting Station: Voting for All Who Legally Can’t
October 1–November 30, 2020
In this idealized online polling place, created by artist-activist Aram Han Sifuentes, experience the act of voting as it could be: broad, inclusive, and cause for celebration. Make your voice heard online and enjoy playfully designed Voting Stickers for ALL and more, sent by mail to Skirball participants.
El Sueño Americano | The American Dream: Photographs by Tom Kieferv
October 17, 2019–March 8, 2020
How we treat the most vulnerable—including migrants seeking a better life—defines our character as a nation. Drawn from the photographic series of the same name, El Sueño Americano | The American Dream: Photographs by Tom Kiefer asks us to consider how we treat migrants as a reflection of who we are and who we want to be as Americans. Responding to the dehumanizing treatment migrants face in detention, Kiefer carefully arranged and photographed objects seized and discarded by border officials—objects deemed “potentially lethal” or “non-essential” among a variety of belongings crucial for sustenance, hygiene, protection, comfort, and emotional strength.
Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite
April 11–September 1, 2019
On view were the iconic images that amplified one of the most influential cultural movements of the 1960s: “Black Is Beautiful.” Featuring over forty photographs of black women and men with natural hair and clothes that reclaimed their African roots, Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite, organized by Aperture Foundation, New York, was the first-ever major exhibition dedicated to this key figure of the second Harlem Renaissance.
Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs
October 17, 2019–March 8, 2020
For those who know him as a filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick’s early career as a photojournalist is a revelation. In 1945, the future director of such classic works as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and A Clockwork Orange (1971) was just a teenager—but one with an uncanny photographic sensibility, who was already scouting human-interest stories for Look magazine. Explore this formative phase in the career of one of the twentieth century’s most influential figures in cinematic history.
Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich
May 9–September 1, 2019
Los Angeles fashion designer Rudi Gernreich (1922–1985) introduced the “monokini,” the thong, unisex caftans, pantsuits for women, and enough inventive clothing to earn him a worldwide reputation. Yet Gernreich was far more than one of the most prominent designers of his time—his clothing was fearless. Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich explored the visionary and progressive ensembles that transcended rigid social expectations and championed authenticity above all.
Sara Berman’s Closet
December 4, 2018–March 10, 2019
Sara Berman’s Closet was a one-of-a-kind exhibition by artists Maira Kalman (b. 1949) and Alex Kalman (b. 1985) inspired by the life of Maira’s mother and Alex’s grandmother, Sara Berman (1920–2004).
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
October 19, 2018–March 10, 2019
With so much at stake on the Supreme Court, the exhibition explored the American judicial system through one of its sharpest legal minds. Coinciding with the twenty-fifth anniversary of her appointment to the high court, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first-ever retrospective about the famed associate justice and American cultural icon.
The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited
June 1–September 2, 2018
The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited explored the imaginative world of Jim Henson (1936–1990) and his groundbreaking approach to puppetry and transformative impact on contemporary culture.
Leonard Bernstein at 100
April 26–September 2, 2018
On the centennial of his birth, the Skirball presented Leonard Bernstein at 100—a celebration of the life and work of Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990), the great American composer and conductor who dedicated his life to making classical music a vibrant part of American culture.
Spotlight—Selections from Kehinde Wiley’s The World Stage: Israel
March 20–September 2, 2018
The World Stage: Israel featured two works by Kehinde Wiley, who was recently commissioned to paint President Barack Obama's official portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Surface Tension by Ken Gonzales-Day
Murals, Signs, and Mark‐Making in LA
October 6, 2017–February 25, 2018
The exhibition featured a new body of photographic work by interdisciplinary artist Ken Gonzales-Day examining the mural landscape of LA—from East LA to Venice Beach, from Pacoima to South LA. Featuring over 140 photographs, Surface Tension by Ken Gonzales-Day: Murals, Signs, and Mark‐Making in LA considered what the city’s walls reveal about its diverse communities.
Another Promised Land: Anita Brenner's Mexico
September 14, 2017–February 25, 2018
Another Promised Land: Anita Brenner’s Mexico offers a new perspective on the art and visual culture of Mexico and its relationship to the United States as seen through the life and work of the Mexican-born, American Jewish writer Anita Brenner (1905–1974). Brenner was an integral part of the circle of Mexican modernists in the 1920s and played an important role in promoting and translating Mexican art, culture, and history for audiences in the United States.
May 23–September 3, 2017
Future Aleppo at the Skirball was an installation about the human capacity for resilience, hope, and perseverance in times of darkness. A four-by-four-foot model, Future Aleppo was created by a young Syrian boy and aspiring architect named Mohammed Qutaish while living through the indiscriminately violent war in Aleppo. Between 2012 and 2015, as he witnessed his beloved city being demolished, Mohammed crafted his vision for the future of Aleppo using paper, wood, colored pencils, and glue.
Paul Simon: Words & Music
April 27–September 3, 2017
Making its only West Coast stop at the Skirball, Paul Simon: Words & Music—a traveling exhibition organized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum—illustrated how the legendary artist’s music has reflected social and cultural ideals.
Pop for the People: Roy Lichtenstein in L.A.
October 7, 2016–March 12, 2017
Renowned for his inventive interplay of line, dot, and color, Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997) shaped a new form of fine art. Departing from the intellectual, nonfigurative style of Abstract Expressionism, Lichtenstein depicted everyday objects and drew inspiration from comic books, advertisements, and children’s books. By integrating such popular imagery into the realm of fine art, he invited viewers to recognize the world around them in his work.
The Unauthorized History of Baseball in 100-Odd Paintings: The Art of Ben Sakoguchi
April 7–September 4, 2016
In a series of colorful, captivating, and often provocative paintings, Los Angeles artist Ben Sakoguchi (b. 1938) examined how baseball, long referred to as America’s national pastime, reflects both the highs and lows of American culture. The son of a grocer and avid baseball fan, Sakoguchi juxtaposed the iconic imagery of vintage orange crate labels from the 1920s to the 1950s with whimsical, eccentric, and sometimes scathing portrayals of America’s beloved sport.
Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American
April 7–October 30, 2016
There are people whose contributions to baseball history went far beyond mere batting averages or stolen bases. From Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax to Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Fernando Valenzuela, and Ichiro Suzuki, these are players who didn’t just play the game—they changed the game. For generations of American Jews and other minorities, they served as athletic, cultural, and ethical role models. Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American celebrated baseball and highlighted the role of baseball’s game changers—not only major league players but also vendors, team owners, minor leaguers, amateur players, scouts, broadcasters, journalists, novelists, and fans—who challenged the status-quo and inspired the nation.
A Path Appears: Actions for a Better World
November 19, 2015–February 21, 2016
“Hope is like a path in the countryside. Originally, there is nothing, but as people walk this way again and again, a path appears,” wrote Chinese essayist Lu Xun.
Citizen 13660: The Art of Miné Okubo
October 8, 2015–February 21, 2016
Citizen 13660: The Art of Miné Okubo presented a selection of archival material and rare original artwork by California-born artist Miné Okubo (1912–2001), who was among the thousands of Japanese American citizens forced to leave their homes and businesses for incarceration camps during World War II. In an effort to document the injustices of the camps, Okubo created nearly 200 pen and ink drawings capturing her everyday life and struggles. These vivid, dramatic drawings were subsequently published as the graphic novel Citizen 13660 (1946), the first illustrated memoir chronicling the camp experience. This exhibition explored this exceptional book and brought Okubo’s personal and historical narrative to life.
Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams
October 8, 2015–February 21, 2016
Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams presented a lesser-known dimension of celebrated photographer Ansel Adams’s body of work, and offered insight into a decisive and disquieting period in American history. Presented at the Skirball in association with the Japanese American National Museum, the exhibition featured fifty photographs by Adams of the Japanese American incarceration camp in Manzanar, California, during World War II. These photographs were the subject of Adams’s controversial book Born Free and Equal, published in 1944 while war was still being waged.
Petit Takett: Love, Legacy, and Recipes from the Maghreb
September 1, 2015–February 21, 2016
Sharing food is one of the most genuine forms of cultural exchange. Gathered at the dinner table, we reminisce, share stories, and engage with one another. Petit Takett: Love, Legacy, and Recipes from the Maghreb, an exhibition based on Los Angeles artist and photographer Orly Olivier’s Tunisian Jewish heritage, celebrated food as a powerful connection to the past. A diverse collection of original and historic photographs, family heirlooms, ephemera, and original letterpress posters illustrated the journey of Olivier’s family from Tunisia to Israel and finally to the United States, between the 1950s and the present.
Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution
May 7–October 11, 2015
Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution was the first comprehensive retrospective about the life and career of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham (1931–1991). Recognized as one of the most influential concert promoters in history, Graham launched the careers of countless rock & roll legends in the ’60s at his famed Fillmore Auditorium. He conceived of rock & roll as a powerful force for supporting humanitarian causes and was instrumental in the production of milestone benefit concerts such as Live Aid (1985) and Human Rights Now! (1988). As a promoter and manager, he worked with the biggest names in rock, including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones.
The Singing Posters: Poetry Sound Collage Sculpture Book
Allen Ginsberg's Howl by Allen Ruppersberg
May 7–August 23, 2015
Allen Ruppersberg’s installation The Singing Posters: Poetry Sound Collage Sculpture Book paid tribute to Allen Ginsberg’s iconic poem Howl (1955–1956), a hallmark text of the ’50s Beat generation. In order to reinterpret the piece for contemporary audiences, Ruppersberg transcribed the poem into phonetic spellings and printed the “new” text on approximately 200 vibrantly colored commercial advertising posters installed floor to ceiling on gallery walls.
Rock & Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip
March 24–August 16, 2015
Featuring more than twenty photographs of hand-painted billboards that dominated the Los Angeles landscape for almost two decades, this exhibition—displayed in the Skirball's community space known as the Ruby Gallery—brought to life a unique period in the history of rock & roll and the fabled Sunset Strip, whose nightclubs were the birthplace of rock & roll royalty. Photographer Robert Landau (b. 1953) traced the billboard phenomenon from the breakthrough promotion for the debut album by the Doors in 1967 to the advent of MTV in the 1980s, which signaled the end of an era.
The Noir Effect
November 23, 2014–March 1, 2015
Following up where the exhibition Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950 left off, The Noir Effect traced the influence of noir into more recent times, exploring how the genre has continued to impact American popular culture, art, and media.
October 23, 2014–March 10, 2015
Café Vienne was a site-specific exhibition developed for the Skirball by Austrian artist Isa Rosenberger (b. 1969). Within this immersive installation, which paid tribute to the important cultural role of Viennese coffee houses, Rosenberger honored little-known Jewish writer Gina Kaus (1893–1985).
Light & Noir
Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950
October 23, 2014–March 1, 2015
The exhibition Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950 explored 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. Visitors learned in depth 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.
Fallen Fruit of the Skirball
May 13–October 12, 2014
For this exhibition, Los Angeles art collaborative Fallen Fruit (David Burns and Austin Young) and the Skirball Cultural Center came together to produce an immersive art installation that celebrated Jewish heritage, relationships, and love
The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats
April 10–September 7, 2014
This exhibition showcased the evocative world of the pioneering author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916–1983), featuring more than eighty original works by the artist. Ranging from preliminary sketches and preparatory books to final paintings and collages, the works displayed in The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats explored a life and career that became an inspiration for generations of readers and authors.
To the Point
Posters by Dan Reisinger
January 14–May 11, 2014
Dan Reisinger (b. 1934) is one of Israel’s design pioneers, known internationally for his innovative use of symbols and vibrant visual language. This exhibition presented a selection of his iconic posters spanning the past fifty years, including posters of social and political protest (1963–1993), advertisements commissioned by the airline EL AL (1968–1972), and a recent series focused on the changing architectural landscape of Tel Aviv (2012). Reisinger, who also created a fifty-meter-long wall relief for the Moshe Safdie–designed Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Israel, is known for producing work that conveys “maximum meaning” by “minimum means.”
The Architecture of Moshe Safdie
October 22, 2013–March 2, 2014
Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie surveyed the renowned architect’s career from his formative period in the 1960s and early 1970s to his recent projects around the world, exploring his aesthetic language of transcendent light, powerful geometry, and iconic forms. Using sketches, models, photographs, and films of twenty-five projects, the exhibition portrayed Safdie's architecture not only as visual art but as a medium for advancing social, political, and cultural goals.
a smile, they said
A Project by Antje Schiffers and Thomas Sprenger
April 4, 2013–January 12, 2014
Everyone is welcome at the Skirball Cultural Center, yet every encounter is unique, inflected by culture, age, and origin. This was the theme of a smile, they said, a site-specific mural created by Berlin-based artists Antje Schiffers and Thomas Sprenger as part of their Let Me Show You Around project.
Women Hold Up Half the Sky
October 27, 2011–May 20, 2012
The traveling exhibition Women Hold Up Half the Sky was inspired by the critically acclaimed book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
For information about exhibitions presented prior to the ones listed here, please email email@example.com.