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The Woodcarvings of Robert Gragg

Museum Notes
by Robin Turner, Museum Chair

Further to my column in the last issue, here is more information on artist Robert Gragg and our exhibit in the CCHS display case at the eastside of the new downtown Pacific Culver Stadium 12 cinema complex.

In 1928, Robert Gragg began working at the Hal Roach Studios on Washington Blvd. in Culver City. He worked as a carpenter and a layout man. During these studio years, Gragg and his wife raised their five children in their home on Lincoln Ave.

Born in Little Rock, AR in 1896, Gragg was raised in Minnesota, and lived in Virginia during his later years. However, he never forgot his early years in Culver City, and, upon his death in 1984, his charming woodcarvings were donated to the City of Culver City.

These carvings, known as the Robert Fenelley Gragg Collection, represent a broad spectrum of life, with such titles as “Cutting Down a Tree” and “Saturday Night Bath” along with many movie-related themes.

He had built life-size sets for the movies and, because of his love and artistry for carving, even in his spare time, Gragg was rarely far from a piece of wood. He characterized himself as a “carver of memories.”

The Culver City Historical Society is pleased to offer this changing exhibit in honor of the Robert Gragg legacy in wood, appropriately beginning with Historic Preservation Month, May 2005

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