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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

GONE WITH THE WIND'S CLARK GABLE


DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011
 Clark Gable - Vintage post card - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)

Clark Gable and his famous wife Carole Lombard lived on a small ranch in Encino, California. Gable, who is considered by many to be among the most famous screen actors of all time, played the role of Rhett Butler in the block buster firm Gone With The Wind. 


Bust of actor Clark Gable by San Fernando Valley artist Henry Van Wolf.  Promised gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Joseph and Ladonna Van Wolf 2011.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SAM YORTY POWERFUL AND COLORFUL MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

One of the most influential, loved and despised office holders in California was Sam Yorty of Encino. He served as the 37th Mayor of Los Angeles from 1961 to 1973. Sam's long career reads almost like a script for the industry he worked so hard to keep in our city. When you get a few minutes, take time to do an on line search about his life. 
Bust of Mayor Sam Yorty by San Fernando Valley sculptor Henry Van Wolf. Promised gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Joseph and Ladonna Van Wolf 2011.


Lithograph portrait of Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty - Gift, along with other Yorty artifacts, from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on images to enlarge)

Friday, November 25, 2011

1936 BERLIN OLYMPICS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

Among the many important objects recently donated to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley was this 1936 edition of Die Woche magazine. Part of the Henry Van Wolf collection, donated by Joseph Van Wolf, the magazine features several Olympians who made their home in the San Fernando Valley at the time.
Die Woche magazine 1936 - donated to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley by Joseph and Ladonna Van Wolf 2011  (click on image to enlarge)

Gary Fredburg (left) Museum Vice President examines Die Woche magazine being contributed to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley by Joseph Van Wolf (center).  At the right is Richard Hilton, Museum Board member and Director of Museum tours.  The three men are in the art studio of the late San Fernando Valley sculptor, Henry Van Wolf.


DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

Yes, entertainment books were being used a fund-raisers in the San Fernando Valley a half century ago. Here is a tear-out coupon for the Corbin Theater.  (click on the image to enlarge it.) The Corbin Theater was in Tarzana.

MONTIE MONTANA REACHED A GENERATION OF SAN FERNANDO VALLEY CHILEDREN

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

Ask people who you know, who lived anywhere in the San Fernando Valley and beyond, if they know who Montie Montana was --- and, they'll almost always reply:  "He came to my school when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade."  Montie made his living performing rope tricks in rodeos and was a fixture in America's favorite parades for generations. Your Museum's "Narrating Lives - Oral Histories of the San Fernando Valley" has interviewed two of Montie's children: Linda and Montie Jr.

Vintage postcard of Montie Montana and his horse Rex - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011. (click on image to enlarge)

HISTORIC WALKING TOUR NOV 25th

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011
Don't forget The Museum's famous "Walk It Off" (after Thanskgiving - Walking Tour of Historic North Hollywood - SATURDAY Nov 25th.  Begins 10am at Amerlia Earhart statue in North Hollywood Park (Magnolia and Tujunga) at 10am.  $10 donation to The Museum.  Bring your Camera!

13th Graduation Program North Hollywood Junior High School - January 30th 1947 - historic program given to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

JACKIE THE LION ENDED LIFE IN THOUSAND OAKS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

Eventually there will be a member of The Museum Community or a college student who will write the history of Bird Wonderland in Encino (at the time Van Nuys).  It's the kind of thing that I would like to do, had I the time. In the meanwhile, there are always parts of history's puzzle worth exploring, and sometimes though I am limited in time, I have to investigate..
There are many photographs of Jackie the Lion among the images donated recently to The Museum by Joan Putney. At first, I assumed the famous MGM lion in the collection belonged to the owner of Bird Wonderland Coulson Glick, but it now seems more likely that Jackie was the property of a lion tamer and performer named Mel Koontz. The lion may have been boarded at Bird Wonderland or was there just for the time when Mel Kooze worked there. 

Jackie the Lion - Jungleland Thousand Oaks, California:  vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)

Jackie was neither the first, nor the last of the MGM lions. He was lion number 2, who ruled the film world from 1929 to the mid 1950s.  He died in Thousand Oaks in 1952.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SAN FERNANDO HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL 1940s

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY         2011

For generations San Fernando High School has been a powerhouse in interscholastic football. Thanks to Gary Fredburg, your Museum has just added three terrific San Fernando High School Football programs to our archives. The cover art alone makes these programs a treasure for us all. 

San Fernando High School vrs Canoga Park High School - Football at Fraisher Field - program gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on images to enlarge them.)

Van Nuys High School vrs San Fernando High School - Football at Smith Field on Friday October 25, 1946.  These high school football heroes would be in their 80s today.

San Fernando High School vs North Hollywood High School - Football at Fraisher Field - 3 pm on October 31, 1947.


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WILD BILL ELLIOTT ACTOR OF THE 40s and 50s

DISCOVER OUR VALLEY      2011

Republic Pictures produced many "B" level films, including films with the San Fernando Valley actor Bill Elliott. 

Wild Bill Elliott - vintage postcards - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on images to enlarge)

NBC TELEVISION STUDIOS IN BURBANK 1957

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

NBC Television Burbank - vintage postcard- gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011. (click on image to enlarge)
"NBC Television Station, Burbank, California. The first color television studio in the United States

Saturday, November 19, 2011

CANOGA PARK RIDDLE

A friends of The Museum just wrote that he "was recently strolling in an old area of Canoga Park and saw 'Richard G.H.C.C. 1955' in the concrete. Do you have any clue what GHCC stands for? I'm guessing its some car club or something Chicano oriented. It also said 'song of the dreamer' which I found on the internet is a great song by Eddie Fisher that topped the charts in 1955."

Any guesses on this one?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ROOTS IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY KEEPS DICK MLACK REGULARLY IN TOUCH.

I try my best to keep up with old friends, especially those with connections to the San Fernando Valley.  This week a pal, Dick Mlack sent me his photograph in a shirt from his Fraternity days at Pierce College. To my everlasting envy, the shirt still fits!


Dick Mlack's story is not an unusual one for those with roots in our Valley. He was born in Ohio, but moved with his family to the Valley when he was six years old. He attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks and graduated in 1959. In 1962 he was initiated in the Phi Delta Psi Fraternity at Pierce College.  He entered the United States Air Force in 1964, serving in Alaska and the U.S. Air Force Academy. Mlack graduated from the University of Texas in Arlington.  He retired from IBM in 2003, after 30 years.  At present, Dick and his wife Connie reside in Denver, Colorado.

 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

SOPHIE AND HER FAVORITE DADDY JOHN SCHMUTZ

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011


Sophie Schmutz looks up from watching her daddy John carve her very first pumpkin at Brendan and Tom's Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party. (click on image to enlarge it)

THE MYSTERY OF AN ARTIST'S STORAGE CABINET

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

Often historical events and objects cross paths. Sometimes things are of genuine importance, other times just a passing curiosity.  Here's a photograph that I took in the historic art studio of Henry Van Wolf, an artist of immense importance in San Fernando Valley history. The room is a small workshop off of Van Wolf's large studio space. The area may be much like it was with the artist died in 1982.


Aside from the wonderful art objects and models left on Van Wolf's work bench (above), there is a nondescript white cabinet along the wall at the right. As a cabinet in Henry Van Wolf's studio, the storage unit is worth saving. But, Joseph Van Wolf, the artist's son, has added an extra fact to the cabinet's legacy.

 (click on image to enlarge it)
An old white cabinet in a work room off of Henry Van Wolf's studio.  The artist, or a helper, is likely to have painted the storage unit white, sometime in the 1950s. When Joseph had me open it, the interior color revealed its origins. Joseph Van Wolf explained that the unit had been part of the furnishings of the United State Military facility of Birmingham Hospital. Yep, the unit's interior is World War II regulation olive green. Birmingham Hospital and its long ago wounded GIs are all but forgotten today. An encounter with a green storage cabinet jogged this writer's memories.

STAR OF FILM AND TELEVISION - DINAH SHORE LIVED IN ENCINO

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY      2011

In 1943, the beloved American singer Dinah Shore moved to Encino with her new husband, the actor George Montgomery. Dinah was much impressed with the beautiful birds of the historic Bird Wonderland Collection not far from her new home. In 1944, one of the first songs presented on The Dinah Shore Show on radio was "The San Fernando Valley."

Dinah Shore with friends from Bird Wonderland in Encino.  Photo gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Jean Putney 2011.  (click on the image to enlarge it. Refer to photo number 4028)

WARNER BROTHERS STUDIO IN BURBANK

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY        2011

Since its establishment in Burbank, Warmer Brothers Studio has been a magnate attracting many of the most creative people in the world. Script writers, set designers, art directors, costume designer, directors, producers, and actors are bus just a few of the professions that make the San Fernando Valley the heart of the creative capital of the world.


Vintage postcard of Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge it.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

DOROTHY LAMOUR AND SATAN THE TIGER WERE SAN FERNANDOD VALLEY MEGASTARS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

Dorothy Lamour, who lived in Toluca Lake, was one of America's most famous film stars of the 1940s. The great "Road" films of the era, with stars like Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, were wildly popular. Here the beautiful Lamour poses with the wild animal star Satan the Tiger, promoting the film "The Road to Zanzibar" in 1941. 
Dorothy Lamour and Satan the Tiger in "The Road to Zanzibar"  1941  - Photo gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Jean Putney 2011. Satan the Tiger lived at Bird Wonderland in Van Nuys. Refer to photo 4035 - click on image to enlarge.

Dorothy Lamour helped fund the construction of Saint Charles Catholic church in North Hollywood. Her funeral was held in the landmark church.  

Publicity statement with this photograph:  "Wild Animals I Have Known - proof in pictures by Dorothy Lamour 7.  Satan isn't the first tiger I've ever known, either.  There was King, the huge Bengal tiger which stalked through my first picture, "The Jungle Princess".  Supposedly, I was raised by the tiger from childhood in the story.  So I had to romp with him.  My teeth chattered at the prospects but I soon learned that King was your friend for life if you scratched his ears. He love that and would purr like a kitten ... only the purring was so loud it reminded you of an airplane motor.".

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

FOUNDING OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS GUILD IN 1948

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

I am not sure but this open air exhibition held between November 1st to 7th, 1948 may have been the first group show put on by the newly formed San Fernando Valley Professional Artists' Guild. The animal sculptures atop the gateway identify the location as being on the property of the president and founder of the Guild, Henry Van Wolf. The woman seated by Mr. Van Wolf is Mrs. Paula L. Sorensen, a member of the Guild and a singer.
Henry Van Wolf and Paula Sorensen 1948 - San Fernando Valley Professional Artists' Guild. Photo gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Joseph Van Wolf 2011.  (click on image to enlarge - refer to photo number 4089)

Monday, November 7, 2011

THE UNKNOWN TARZAN OF HENRY VAN WOLF

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

When I had the privilege of visiting the studio of the great Henry Van Wolf, this last week, I saw this small sculpture atop a cabinet. It is a rendering of Van Wolf's dream of an heroic Tarzan statue never completed. I took the liberty of taking out the backgrounds, so that a measure of the sculptor's vision might be enjoyed by today's residents of the San Fernando Valley.

Tarzan of the Apes - model sculpture by the San Fernando Valley artist Henry Van Wolf. 
(click on this image to enlarge it.)

JACKIE THE LION WHEN HE BECAME A MEGASTAR FOR MGM

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

You'll probably recognize one of the San Fernando Valley's biggest movie stars. He's Jackie, the lion from Bird Wonderland in Encino (then Van Nuys).  I wonder how many in this 1930s crowd recognized how quickly Jackie could have done one of them in.


Jackie the MGM lion c. 1930s  Bird Wonderland - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Jean Putney 2011 (click on image to enlarge - photo number 4128)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

SCULPTOR HENRY VAN WOLF COMPLETES FERNANDO SCULPTURE

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011


These two images show the sculptor Henry Van Wolf and a Valley civic leader at the time he completed his famous Fernando sculpture now located in the Van Nuys Civic Center.  Photograph are a gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from his son Joseph Van Wolf.

Refer to photo number 4091. (click on images to enlarge them) Photo 4094 below.

Friday, November 4, 2011

PHOTO FROM 1927 SILENT FILM SHOT IN STUDIO CITY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

Long believed lost, the silent motion picture, The Enemy has been recently found. This photograph features the mega-star Lillian Gish. She co-starred with Norman Kerry in the film, shot on location in Studio City at the Fryman Ranch in 1927.

Lillian Gish and Norman Kerry on location at Fryman Ranch 1927 - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from the Studio City Residents Association 2010.  (click on image to enlarge it.) Refer to picture 4096.

THE COSSACKS WAS MADE IN 1928 ON LOCATION ON FRYMAN RANCH IN STUDIO CITY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

Actor John Gilbert was right-up-there with Rudolph Valentino as an American heart throb when he made this motion picture called The Cossacks in 1928.  His very young co-star Renee Adoree was absolutely adored as the sex kitten of her era.  Renee died 1933 while in her early 30s of tuberculosis in a Tujunga hospital.

John Gilbert and Renee Adoree on location during the filming of The Cossacks at Fryman Ranch in Studio City 1928 - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from the Studio City Residents Association 2010.  (click on image to enlarge)  Refer to photo 4095

Thursday, November 3, 2011

CIGARETTE ADS IN MAGAZINES FROM THE 1930S

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

Put into today's health perspective, these cigarette ads take on an interesting perspective.

 Magazine ads found in the studio of Henry Van Wolf - 2011

 This advertisement is worth clicking on to enlarge......

HENRY VAN WOLF SCULPTURES GRACE MANY SAN FERNANDO VALLEY VENUES

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY

In the 1950s this gateway to the studio of the San Fernando Valley sculptor, Henry Van Wolf, graced the corner of Chandler Boulevard and Hazeltine Street in Van Nuys. The gate was a major landmark for those looking north on Chandler.  Henry Wolf and his wife Veronica moved to Van Nuys from New York in 1944. Four years later, he founded the Valley Artists Guild.

 Entrance way to the home and studio of Henry and Veronica Van Wolf in Van Nuys, California. This photo is a gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Joseph Van Wolf 2011.  Refer to photo 4092 - click on image to enlarge.

Bronze sculptures of an American antelope and mountain goat, that once graced the entrance of the Van Wolf home and studio on Chandler Boulevard. They were moved to the artist's studio when the Chandler property was sold. Photographs by Gerald Fecht for The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2011. 

HENRY VAN WOLF IMMINENT SAN FERNANDO VALLEY SCULPTOR

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

If you have admired the handsome bronze Native American statue in the Van Nuys Administrative Center, you have seen the marvelous work of the late San Fernando Valley sculptor Henry Van Wolf. The landmark statue, generally referred to as "Fernando" represents our Valley's Tongva heritage, was erected in the Civic Plaza in 1968. It's original image was bright gold.

Fernando statue at the Van Nuys Civic Center by Henry Van Wolf - photo gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Joseph Van Wolf 2011 - (click on image to enlarge) Photo number 4088

Henry Van Wolf, imminent San Fernando Valley sculptor, inspects his statue of Fernando in 1968. Photo gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Joseph Van Wolf 2011 - (click on image to enlarge) Photo number 4086

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

AN IMPORTANT VIDEO ON THE ARCHITECT PAUL REVERE WILLIAMS.

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

Here's an important video on the life and works of the architect Paul Revere Williams, brought to The Museum Community's attention by Deborah Farra.

http://www.amp.csulb.edu/csulb/prw/prw.asx

MUSEUM PRESIDENT ADDRESSES PORTER RANCH NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011



Responding to a request from the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council, Dr. Jerry Fecht, The Museum's president spoke on November 1st about the economic and social values of history, art and culture now and in the future of the San Fernando Valley. Representative of the Oakridge Estate organization also addressed the meeting.  (click on image to enlarge)