Friday, January 25, 2013 - Saturday, May 25, 2013

Where Bohemians Gathered

Print Culture on the Arroyo Seco, 1895 - 1947


  • Location: Library Gallery Main Floor
  • Time: All Day
  • Sponsor: Library
Arroyo Seco by William Lee Judson

Courtesy of the California State Library


At the end of the nineteenth century, creative artisans were drawn to the austere beauty of the Arroyo Seco—the seasonally dry riverbed that stretches from Los Angeles to Pasadena.  Four generations of artists, writers, printers, educators, collectors, and taste-makers influenced what has come to be known as Arroyo Culture. While some took aesthetic cues from the East Coast and abroad, their activities possessed a native self-consciousness. Their output placed an early value on multiculturalism, historical preservation, gender equality, and sensitivity towards the natural setting in which they lived and worked, well before the Parkway was built and concrete tamed winter flood waters. This exhibition aims to highlight contributions in the areas of writing, publishing, printing, bookbinding, book collecting, and bookselling on the Arroyo Seco, in addition to placing a special focus on the role that Occidental College played in this vital history.

The exhibition draws from the rich holdings of Occidental College Library’s Special Collections, with additional material on loan from the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA Library Special Collections, and copies of original photographs from the Braun Research Library, Autry National Center and the Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College.

Curated by Jessica Holada of the Southern California Chapter of the American Printing History Association. Image is the painting Arroyo Seco by William Lees Judson.

Public welcome Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm.

Special Event: On Saturday, May 18, at 11:00am, curator Jessica Holada will give an illustrated lecture on the colorful characters whose artistic careers and printed works are part of our current exhibit, Where Bohemians Gathered: Print Culture on the Arroyo Seco 1895-1947.   see Calendar Listing.

Interested in learning more online? Ms. Holada talks about the Abbey in Esotouric's You Can't Eat the Sunshine podcast.