2019 The Museum sfv Exhibits

50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Mission & Moon Landing

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One of the greatest technological, team and country achievements of the 20th Century, The Museum SFV is pleased to recount the Apollo 11 Mission on this 50th anniversary. Many companies located in the San Fernando Valley contributed to the program and Mission including Aerojet Rocketdyne, North American Rockwell, Boeing, McDonnel Douglas, Marquardt and Weber. Learn about the women and women of color behind the Mission too.


The primary objective of Apollo 11 was to complete a national goal set by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961: perform a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth.


Additional flight objectives included scientific exploration by the lunar module, or LM, crew; deployment of a television camera to transmit signals to Earth; and deployment of a solar wind composition experiment, seismic experiment package and a Laser Ranging Retroreflector.  


This was to be the last Apollo mission to fly a "free-return" trajectory, which would enable a return to Earth with no engine firing, providing a ready abort of the mission at any time prior to lunar orbit insertion.


Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin into an initial Earth-orbit of 114 by 116 miles. An estimated 530 million people watched Armstrong's televised image and heard his voice describe the event as he took "...one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" on July 20, 1969.  Credit: NASA


Where were you when the men landed on the moon? If you were old enough, we would like to hear about it. If you approve, The Museum would like to capture your thoughts and memory and add it to our archives. There will be a reading table and events for adults and youth.


This exhibit is currently expected to run from through the end of August.

Edgar Rice Burroughs & Tarzan® & Centennial of Tarzana Ranch

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The Museum is pleased to have worked with Scott Tracy Griffin, Director of Special Projects for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. in curating, what will now be an evergreen exhibit on Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzan®.  In 1919, we have added information and book offerings and  docents will discuss further on the centennial of the Tarzana Ranch.


The initial exhibit will focus on Tarzan® movies. Photos and content will review some of the many Tarzan and Jane characters with overviews of some of the more famous movies.


This exhibit will change out every six months with new Tarzan® items. For adults and youth to enjoy the legacy of this prolific author.


"This community has a fascinating literary heritage," says Griffin, the Director of Special Projects at Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. "Tarzana’s founding marked the culmination of the rags-to-riches story of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the man dubbed ‘the most influential writer of the 20th century’ by Ray Bradbury. It's a unique historical pedigree that should be celebrated by all So. Cal."


•    In 1911, one of the promoters of the Suburban Homes Co., General Harrison Gray Otis, purchased 550 acres of what is now the heart of Tarzana. General Otis was the founder and publisher of the Los Angeles Times. He took a very active part in the development of the Valley.


•    In 1915, water to the Valley was provided through the Owens River Aqueduct and the Valley was annexed to the City of Los Angeles. This secured the Valley's growth.


•    In 1919, Edgar Rice Burroughs purchased the Otis Ranch, built his home and named it Tarzana Ranch.


You will learn more about his life, ups and downs to his career, the home on top of the hill as well as the home that remains on Ventura Blvd. where he did a lot of writing an offers an interested factoid on history.


 This exhibit is currently expected to run from May 2, 2019 through end of  November and then will be change with a new facet on Edgar Rice Burroughs.




Sculptor Henry Van Wolf

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Henry Van Wolf was born in Germany, but settled in Van Nuys in 1944. He became a leading sculptor and was commissioned for projects under Works Progress Administration (WPA). His sculptures ranged from small (coin size) to large (over 60 feet) as shown in this exhibit.


His famous Tongva Native American statue called the “Fernando” has stood tall at the courtyard of the Van Nuys City Hall since 1968. 


Van Wolf also founded the Valley Artists Guild in an effort to help his fellow artists and his work still continues to inspire many people. 


The exhibit showcases large busts of Abraham Lincoln, Clark Gable, Martin Luther King, Jr. and former City of Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty. Also, you will be able to view sculptures of Albert Einstein and Beethoven.

Today, the most important community service award in the San Fernando Valley is the coveted "Fernando Award," designed after the Van Wolf “Fernando” statue, which you will find displayed in the room.  Van Wolf died in 1982.


Powerhouse Women of the San Fernando Valley

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 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.

The Hollywood Shorties

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 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

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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.

Previous Exhibits

Westmore Collection - The First Family of Movie Makeup 2018

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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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.