2019-2020 The Museum sfv Exhibits

WWII History, Birmingham General Hospital and the San Fernando Valley

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The Museum of the San Fernando Valley is pleased to bring  back a WWII, military and history of the  valley exhibit.


Franky Ortega, board member will be showcasing a portion of his personal collection.


Incredible newspapers announcing engagement with the Japanese during WWII.


Learn about the history of Birmingham General Hospital.


After WWII, enjoy learning about what movies and leading movie stars filmed at the General Hospital.


There will be varied artifacts including military uniforms, supplies and newspapers that will take you back to historic moments in time.


The exhibit is currently scheduled for December 2019 through March 2020.


 This exhibit is free to all Museum Members and visitors. If you are veteran, please share any experiences you may want to offer.

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.

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.  

Unmasking the SFV - Art Exhibit

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 The Museum of the San Fernando Valley's Public Art Initiative is pleased to offer to Museum members, guests and the art community at-large, "Unmasking the San Fernando Valley." 


This exhibit is a one-of-a-kind collection of hand-made decorative masks, all created by some of SFV's most well-known and established artists. Each mask is connected to a SFV event and is designed to excite and engage the SFV history buff.  Each mask is available for purchase, with a significant portion of the sales proceeds to be donated to The Museum SFV.


"As an artist and having been part of The Museum’s Public Arts Initiative for many years, this is one of the more unique, artistic interpretations of mask-making history that I’ve seen. It’s integrative approach to color and history brings San Fernando Valley life alive and can now be enjoyed by all,” said Barbara Katz Bierman, local artist and member of the Public Art Initiative.


The participating valley-based artists this year include: Earl Beard, Barbara Katz Bierman, Chloe Combow, Richard Cryer, Sarah Hage, Phyllis Hansen, Judy Heimlich, Michaela Hughes, Morgan Kari, Andrea Monroe, Akram Ighani Namdarian, Bronwyn Rubin, Ellen Rundle, Ingrid Elburg Shapiro, Jenn Sher, Charles Sherman, Debbie Wubben and Virginia Viera. 


"The Museum of the San Fernando Valley has been privileged to partner with numerous creative and talented SFV artists since its inception in 2005. Their call to organize this event and support The Museum through this fundraising exhibition cannot be more appreciated," said Jackie Langa, Vice President of The Museum SFV.


The exhibition of "Unmasking the San Fernando Valley" will run from Tuesday, December 3, 2019 through Thursday, January 16, 2020.  


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.