Piety and Perversity: The Palms of Los Angeles

Thursday, January 15, 2015
4:00 pm PST

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

Clark Quarterly Lecture

—Victoria Dailey, freelance writer and curator

clarkquarterlyThis illustrated lecture seeks to analyze, document, and interpret the history of palm trees in Los Angeles and how they came to dominate not only the landscape but also the cultural mythos. Although the palm tree is not native to the Los Angeles area, it has become accepted as a regional icon. More recognized than native sycamores, oaks, or willows, palms have become a visual synonym for Los Angeles. An explanation of this phenomenon and a suggestion about a new horticultural future for the city comprise the talk.

Victoria Dailey has been researching, publishing, and writing about art and culture since the 1970s. She is the author of numerous books and articles on art and artists, including Michael Heizer, Henri Riviére, William H. Johnson, Knud Merrild, Henrietta Shore, Frances Gearhart, Merle Armitage, Jake Zeitlin, and the German émigré authors in Los Angeles. She wrote the art section for the comprehensive book on early modernism in Southern California, L.A.’s Early Moderns, and has also written works on California travel posters and historic California children’s books. Her articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books and the New Yorker.