Spotlight Returns to Southwest Museum Founder Charles Lummis

May 9, 2016 by Juvenio Guerra

On Saturday, May 7, 2016, to kick off the new season of KCET’s Artbound, an award-winning arts and culture series, the Southwest Museum Site hosted a panel discussion of the program’s upcoming debut episode on Charles Fletcher Lummis (1859-1928), founder of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian. The one-hour documentary, Charles Lummis: Reimagining the West, highlights the fascinating legacy of one of Southern California’s most larger than life figures.

Moderated by Juan Devis, KCET’s Senior Vice President of Content Development, panel participants included William Deverell, Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, Liza Posas, Head Librarian at Braun Research Library at the Autry Museum of the American West, and Suzanne Lummis, poet and educator.

photo by: KCET

Panel discussion of the upcoming documentary Charles Lummis: Reimagining the West at the Southwest Museum Site. Left to right: Juan Devis, KCET’s Senior Vice President of Content Development; Liza Posas, Head Librarian at Braun Research Library at the Autry Museum of the American West; Suzanne Lummis, poet and educator; and William Deverell, Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West.

For the dozens gathered at the event, the panel discussion provided an opportunity to re-discover the multifaceted Lummis—writer, publisher, editor, photographer, ethnographer, collector, and founder of Los Angeles’s first museum—and the Southwest Museum Site’s contributions to the city’s early embrace of indigenous and regional Southwestern history and culture. As Angelenos continue to revisit their history, the evolving conversation also turns to a reimagining of the future of the city’s icons—a conversation that the National Trust is pleased to be a part of at the Southwest Museum Site.

The hour long documentary was also selected as a must watch by the Los Angeles Times, drawing attention to its “handsome historical images.” Read the article here.

Artbound's season eight debut episode, Charles Lummis: Reimagining the American West, premieres in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 10 at 9 p.m. Learn more about Charles Lummis and watch a preview of the episode here or check for rebroadcasts here.

More events are planned in 2016, including Museums of the Arroyo Day (MOTA) on Sunday, May 15 and Lummis Day on June 4, featuring a special site-specific performance by Heidi Duckler Dance Theater exploring Lummis’ 143-day trek across the country from Cincinnati to Los Angeles. Get your tickets here! And check out treasureSWM.org for the latest updates!

photo by: Braun Research Library Collection, Autry Museum of the American West

Charles F. Lummis, circa 1890

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