Society to Feature Artist-Designer Jerome Ackerman

A.-Jerry-Ackerman (Medium)Long-time Culver City resident Jerome “Jerry” Ackerman, an artist-designer and a driving force in the Mid-Century Modern art movement in California, will be the featured speaker at the Culver City Historical Society’s general meeting on Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Building’s Multi-Purpose Room, 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City, 90230.

Ackerman will discuss his life with his late wife and collaborator, Evelyn Ackerman, in conversation with gallery director Gerard Brien of Reform Gallery.

The Ackermans’ works have been exhibited at LACMA, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and the Mingei International Museum in San Diego. Their ERA Industries Inc. is a still a register business in Culver City where it has been since 1956. Evelyn one of the founding Culver City Arts Committee members and was responsible for placing the Cougars artwork by Gwynn Murrill at the corner of Hannum and Slauson.

There also will be a brief discussion of upcoming programs and projects, as well as updates on the activities and exhibits in the Archives and Resource Center (ARC); the Center will be opened following the meeting.

Ceramics by Jerry Ackerman - Culver City Historical Society

All members of the CCHS and the public are welcome to enjoy this free program and students are encouraged to attend. The entrance to the Multi-Purpose Room is through the back of the building near the parking lot, and through the Archive & Resource Center space.

For more information, please call the Society at (310) 253-6941 or e-mail us.

Celebrating CC’s 95th Anniversary

Ms. O’Brien with CC Mayor Andy Weissman - Culver City Historical SocietyThe Culver City Historical Society presented “Meet Me in Culver City,” a celebration to honor Culver City’s 95th Anniversary, on Sunday, September 23, 2012, at the historic Culver Hotel.

Margaret O’Brien, Oscar-winning icon from MGM, served as Honorary Chair of the event and was honored with a commendation from the Culver City Council.

Miss O’Brien was the biggest child star throughout the 1940s and a number one box office attraction. Her unforgettable performance as Tootie Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis (MGM, 1944) with Judy Garland as her co-star, earned her an Academy Award and the position of the highest paid entertainer in the nation.

Her movie credits include Babes on Broadway, Journey For Margaret, The Canterville Ghost, and Unfinished Dance. Her brilliant work in The Secret Garden and Little Women immortalized her in tear-filled audiences worldwide. Today, she continues to receive film and television offers. She has guest-starred on Murder, She Wrote and Tales From the Darkside.

A Great Turnout of Members, City Officials and Friends

Among the many happy guests were CC Mayor Andy Weissman and his wife Doneil, Vice Mayor Jeff Cooper, and Councilmembers Meghan Sahli-Wells and Jim Clarke, who shares his birthday of September 20 with our fair city! Also enjoying the afternoon were former CC Mayors Steven J. Rose and Paul Jacobs, whose wife Joy (CCHS Communications Chair) won several of the special raffle gifts!

Entrance to the Historic Culver Hotel - Culver City Historical Society

The table of wonderful raffle treasures - Culver City Historical Society

Other notable city officials included David Hauptman and his wife Diana, their Commissioners John Kuechle and wife Nancy, Kevin Lachoff with wife Michele (both on the CCHS Board), with 3-year-old son Nicholas (who helped sell many raffle tickets!). The Cultural Affairs Commission was well represented by Regina Klein who brought new CCHS member Bob Wayne, Michelle Bernardin and her fabulous family who so expertly handled the raffle items, and Christine Byers. City Manager John Nachbar and wife Patti attended, along with City Attorney Carol Schwab (one of the Society’s most dedicated volunteers!) with her husband David Warshaw.

Society's spectacular duo, Tami Eskridge & Jeanne Conklin- Culver City Historical Society

Guest of Honor Margaret O’Brien Receives City Commendation

The City of Culver City presented a Commendation to our very special Guest of Honor, Miss Margaret O’Brien. Her dear friend Randal Malone was recognized by the Society for his many years in the film industry, a ready source of movie history which includes his local experience with the Game Show Network among many other activities. It was also a delight to have actor Joey Luft join us, the son of the great Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft.

Miss O’Brien with Joey Luft- Culver City Historical Society

City’s Anniversary Celebration Raises Awareness & Funds For the CCHS & ARC

“Meet Me in Culver City” celebrated Culver City’s history while raising awareness and funds for the Culver City Historical Society, which was founded in 1980 as a non-profit membership organization created for the purpose of collecting, preserving, and exhibiting the history of the Culver City area and its cultural and civic accomplishments.

The Culver City Historical Society’s Archives and Resource Center (ARC) supports the vision and goals of the Society. All proceeds from this event will benefit the ARC and support its mission in the community.

The ARC exhibits historical photos and memorabilia, raises awareness of local history through educational programs, and is a free resource catering to researchers of historical photos and information at universities, the film industry, and the public.

Judy Stangler with Sharon Shore - Culver City Historical Society

Louise Coffey-Webb - Culver City Historical Society

Michelle Bernardin, Michele Cerra-Lachoff, Julie Lugo Cerra - Culver City Historical Society

[All photos by Kevin Lachoff]

Margaret O’Brien is Honorary Event Chair for “Meet Me In Culver City” Event

The Culver City Historical Society will present “Meet Me In Culver City,” a celebration to honor Culver City’s 95th anniversary, on Sunday, September 23, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Historic Culver Hotel, 9400 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, 90232.

Margaret O’Brien, legendary Oscar-winning icon from MGM, is serving as Honorary Chair of the event and will be honored with a commendation from the Culver City Continue reading

CCHS To Host Noted Anthropologist at Special Meeting

The Culver City Historical Society will host noted anthropologist and archeologist Dr. Charles Rozaire at a special meeting on Saturday, August 18, 2012, in the society’s Archive and Resource Center (ARC) from 1-3 p.m.

Dr. Rozaire grew up in Culver City, attended Culver City Grammar School, and received his BA, MA and PhD at UCLA. He will share his perspective on Native Americans and the early history of the  Continue reading

The Annual Costume Society of America Symposium

Hedy Lamar costume - Culver City Historical Society

News from the Costume Chair

by Louise Coffey-Webb, Costume Committee Chair

I have just returned from rainstorms in Boston where I was attending the annual Costume Society of America Symposium. I presented a lecture on Ganna Walska, a well-known Polish opera singer and socialite, whose designer of choice was the legendary Erté – famous for his Art Deco sinewy figures and fantastical ornaments.

Erté was also contracted to design sets and costumes for MGM in 1925, and his credits include The Mystic, Bright Lights, Time, the Comedian, Dance Madness, La Bohème, and Paris – all made during that one year! He was often partnered with designer Andre-Ani.

Even though his Parisian studio was replicated on the MGM lot to help him feel comfortable, one year was all he could bear!

New Displays of Costumes of Hedy Lamarr & Eleanor Parker

There are a couple of new costume displays in the ARC that I wanted to tell you about.

The first is an outfit made for Hedy Lamarr (pictured above) that looks like a two-piece skirt and top, but is actually made in one piece of a pretty red printed flower on black silk.

Hedy Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna and was a star in Europe before signing with Louis B. Mayer, who changed her name. She was a contracted star with MGM from 1937 through the end of World War II. [In 1942, at the height of her Hollywood career, she patented a frequency-switching system for torpedo guidance that was two decades ahead of its time; but that’s another story!]

We do not know the designer, as the production number written inside: “3684” belongs to a production that never came to fruition. It’s possible that this outfit was made for PR purposes. I have dated it circa 1940.

The other costume looks like an Asian pajama set, and is superbly finished to couture standards with a pale green chiffon silk lining. It is from The Seventh Sin (MGM, 1957) and was worn by Eleanor Parker as “Carol Carwin.” The hand-written labels sewn to the interior seams, say “Eleanor Parker” and the film production number “1710.” The designer was Helen Rose.

When you next enter the ARC, look for the photograph on the left of the old Meralta Theatre on Culver Boulevard, which is displaying on it’s marquee, the film The Seventh Sin with Eleanor Parker! The theatre was near the old City Hall and we can date the photograph to 1957 – as that was the film release date. This coincidence was noticed by Justin Scupine, Editor of when he visited the ARC last month.

Visit the new Displays at the Pacific Theatre

I hope you have had a chance to look at our new display in the window of the Pacific Theatre, opposite The Culver Hotel. We will be changing sections every couple of months, to keep you up-to-date with our events and activities.