2019 The Museum Exhibits

Powerhouse Women of the San Fernando Valley


The Museum SFV explores Government, the first of many Valley sectors we intend to highlight through this exhibit in the future. 

The Museum has chosen to examine the lives of two special, dynamic San Fernando Valley women - Joy Picus and Leah Cartabruno.

Joy was the first woman elected to the Los Angeles City Council from the San Fernando Valley in 1977.  She was a wife, mother of three, civically active from childhood, but did not run for political office until 1973 in her 40's.  Although each woman's path to success was different, both women have been influencers, first for their gender in their fields and an inspiration to other men and women.

Leah Cartabruno, a few years after becoming the first student to graduate with a double-major from CSUN, was the first woman ever hired by the California State Legislature as a Committee Consultant in 1968. 

Through her non-civil service position, she worked with various state senators and assemblymen to help research and write bills.

Mexican American Baseball 1940s & 1950s in the Valley


The exhibit is based on the 2015 book entitled, Mexican American Baseball in the San Fernando Valley and includes rare photographs, historical artifacts and stories.

Author Richard A. Santillán is professor emeritus of ethnic and women studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Coauthors are Victoria C. Norton, former historical commissioner, City of San Fernando; Christopher Docter, graduate student, California State University, Northridge; Monica Ortez, public historian of Orange County; and Richard Arroyo, valley historian and former San Fernando City historical commissioner. 

Mexican American residents, who could not play in traditional leagues created their own community baseball leagues organizing games and tournaments early in the 20th century, often gathering hundreds of spectators. These traditions cultural continue today.

The Hispanic baseball leagues are still being played in the valley on weekends.

Pelota Mixteca


Pelota Mixteca, a sport that originates in Oaxaca, Mexico, has become important to the retention and redefinition of identity and community among Oaxacan transnational migrants who currently reside in the greater Los Angeles area and is played regularly in the San Fernando Valley. 

A reception is planned with current local players. Please come and visit and learn about this interesting sport that has been brought to the U.S. and valley.

The Hollywood Shorties


In the late 1930’s, an international casting call brought talented dwarves from around the world to Los Angeles to make “The Wizard of Oz” and a lot of them stayed.  Often in Burbank, groups of little people would socialize at the original Bob’s Big Boy and hold events in the surrounding areas and parks. 

This exhibit, inspired by Ryan Steven Green, who created a documentary called “The Hollywood Shorties,” explores through photos, artifacts and film clips the joy, excitement, poignancy and societal contributions of the players of the first professional sports team ever created entirely of little people. 

Billy Barty (vaudeville entertainer, film actor, LPA activist) and Jerry Maren (the “Lollipop Kid” The Wizard of Oz”) formed The Hollywood Shorties baseball team in 1949, just after WWII.

The Hollywood Shorties was originally a team of actors and stuntman ranging from 3’5’’ and 4’9” who played charitable baseball games against celebrities and faculties of high schools primarily across the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas.  In the 1970’s The Shorties introduced basketball to their fans and found themselves in great demand by NBA teams, often playing mini-games for the NBA game crowds at half-time.  

The Valley Times 1946 - 1970


Published from 1946 to 1970, the Valley Times was a daily newspaper that focused on the news and happenings of the San Fernando Valley. The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) received the daily newspaper’s entire photo collection in 1981. 

The photos in this collection document an important time in Los Angeles history, as the San Fernando Valley grew enormously after World War II. Photos of groundbreakings for new construction projects, brand-new Mid-Century Modern buildings, aerial photos showing changes to the overall landscape, and more help tell the story of this period of immense change and offer a glimpse at this period of history.

Beginning in 2013, the LAPL Photo Collection Department worked to process and digitize the extensive Valley Times photo collection of over 82,000 images. Regular LAPL resources were not enough to complete this project, which required the crucial first step of hiring an archivist to process the enormous collection. LAPL partnered with the nonprofit organization Photo Friends to raise additional funding, and in just three years the archivist and LAPL staff processed the entire collection. 

For more information, please visit link HERE.

Architecture of the SFV


In conjunction with the SFV AIA chapter, The Museum is pleased to showcase a dozen or so images of distinct places and architecture in the valley. 

From the Sunkist building in Sherman Oaks, to Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake to CSUN in Northridge and places in between visitors will enjoy viewing these photos of iconic places and buildings in the valley.





Previous Exhibits

Westmore Collection - The First Family of Movie Makeup 2018


 The House of Westmore opened in 1935, from the same group of brothers and into the next generation. Including books, cosmetics, multi-media beauty kits, and even dolls, the Westmore family has demonstrated a prolific legacy for several generations, in addition to their respected reputation in film makeup.   

A Woman's Soul 2016


 In celebration of Women's History Month 2016. This exhibition explored Womanhood through paintings, photographs and sculptures inspired by females and femininity.  

Hot Art | Cool Room 2016


 A multimedia art exhibit featuring 11 local artists and over 40 original works of art including photography, ceramics and paintings. The exhibit rotated many artwork from July 2016 - August 2017.

Kent Twitchell's Mural of Michael Jackson 2015


 The Museum of the San Fernando Valley and the New Sahara Gallery displayed a special exhibit showcasing Kent Twitchell's Incredible Mural of Michael Jackson. Visitors from all over the world stopped to see a portion of the mural created with the singer.  

Military Exhibit 2014


 Artifacts from WWII, Korea and Vietnam will be on display. Members from Wings Over Wendy's Veterans group contributed artifacts and stories about first-person accounts of their experiences, bravery, dedication and heroism.  

Northridge Village Art Show 2013


The Museum's Public Art Initiative and Northridge Sparkle teamed up to promote history of Northridge through art. Artists showed what it was it like to live in the San Fernando Valley 50 years ago to 100 years ago.