The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.
The Spanish Colonial Revival has been part of the aesthetic fabric of Southern California for 100 years. While claiming ties to Colonial Spain and Mexico via their cultural and design traditions, the style was based largely on myth and invention. Influenced by such diverse sources as the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and the popular Ramona novel and pageants, Californian architects and designers adapted Spanish Colonial, Mission, ecclesiastical, and native elements to create romanticized perceptions of California for a burgeoning tourism industry.
Myth & Mirage tours us through the Inland Southern California SCR landscape with its rich stylistic details and exoticized architectural forms, and how mythmakers from the 1880s through the 1930s fabricated a marketable past that was European and civilized to sell the mirage of wealth and paradise to Anglo settlers. The exhibit considers how the role of ethnic Mexicans in SCR architecture has been largely omitted from the historical record, despite the integral part their labor and production of building materials were to the architectural history of the Inland Empire and Southern California. Myth & Mirage also takes into account the implications of the “refried” SCR of the postmodern era.
The Riverside Art Museum will present the first survey of the Spanish Colonial Revival style in the architecture and the decorative arts of the Inland Empire, where this style flourished. Landmarks such as Myron Hunt's First Congregational Church of Riverside (1912–1914) and the historic Mission Inn Hotel are spectacular amalgamations of the historic and the imagined. The exhibition will use architectural and archival materials, decorative arts, paintings, and photographs to explore the style's origins and continuing popularity.
Myth & Mirage is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America. Major support for this exhibition and publication is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.
Programming is free for museum members. Included with paid general admission unless otherwise noted.
Joint Opening Celebration with UCR ARTSblock
Saturday, September 30, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Free
Join us for the Opening Reception for RAM’s PST: LA/LA exhibit, Myth & Mirage. This reception is organized in conjunction with UCR ARTSblock as they simultaneously celebrate the opening of their PST: LA/LA show, Mundos Alternos.
Inland Cities Regional Weekend
For info on what other participating PST: LA/LA museums out here in the Inland Cities of Claremont, Pomona, (Riverside!), and Palm Springs are doing during our regional weekend and beyond, like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PSTLALAEAST to learn more about our exhibits and all the exhibit-related programming we collectively have as part of PST: LA/LA. Below are RAM's regional weekend events.
Spanish Colonial Revival Photo Safari
Saturday, November 18, 10 a.m. - 12 noon
Join artist Douglas McCulloh on a SCR photo safari across downtown Riverside. It will begin with a fast-moving powerpoint overview at RAM outlining conceptual approaches and general tactics. Then McCulloh will lead a tour with sites ranging from “SCR Old School Classics” to “SCR Mutant Offspring”.
Build a Mission Mega-Model!
Saturday, November 18, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Join a team of Mission model makers to build one or several Mission mega-models over the course of one frenzied day at RAM! All ages welcome.
What Am I Looking At? Decoding Elements of SCR Architecture
Saturday, November 18, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Join local historian Walter Parks for this introductory lecture on the basic elements of SCR architecture and its historical influences.
Jekel, Spurgeon, and Wilson: IE Architects of the Spanish Colonial Revival
Saturday, November 18, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Join historians Dr. Vincent Moses and Cate Whitmore to learn more about how Riverside took a prominent role in advancing the creation and rise of the Spanish Colonial Revival as regional architecture, as seen through two phases, Mission Revival and Mediterranean Revival. After the lecture, join Vince and Cate for a tour of notable Spanish Colonial buildings in downtown Riverside.
Collectors Seminar: Spanish Colonial Revival Decorative Arts
Sunday, November 19, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Curator Lindsey Rossi will discuss notable, regional collections of Spanish Colonial decorative arts and material culture, as well as highlight decorative collecting trends among some of the earlier, prominent Riverside families. The role of the Mission Inn will also be discussed. After the talk, Lindsey will be available to answer questions about your antiques.
Artswalk @ RAM
First Thursdays, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Free
The Riverside Artswalk is a monthly community event that celebrates the diversity of arts and culture at over 22 downtown locations. Join us at RAM for a fun, free evening. For monthly programming details, check us out on Facebook and our website! October - December, we’ll have special Myth & Mirage art activities and tours!
First Sundays @ RAM
First Sundays, October - May (except January), 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., Free
First Sundays features free, family-friendly activities at several downtown locations. For monthly programming details, check us out on Facebook and our website! October - December, we’ll have special Myth & Mirage art activities and tours!
Docent Tours by RAM Museum Guides
Museum Guides start the conversation with visitors to share insights on the current exhibits, the museum’s history, and our Julia Morgan-designed building. Museum Guides are on-site Saturdays & Sundays, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., & First Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. Join us for special Myth & Mirage tours every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
RAM was one of over 40 art organizations throughout Southern California to share in the $5 million in grants the Getty Foundation awarded in 2014 to produce new knowledge and insights about a wide range of Latin American and Latino art.
Deborah Marrow, Director of the Getty Foundation states, “This art deserves to be better known by audiences who will have the opportunity to view the exhibitions [slated to open in September 2017] in dialogue with one another. The grants … allow participating institutions the time and resources to conduct the research and planning that will provide the crucial underpinning for the exhibitions, publications, and related programs.”
Led by Lindsey Rossi, Lead Researcher and Program Coordinator, RAM has assembled the following team members for this project: Aaron Betsky, Yale University graduate with a Master of Architecture and a B.A. in History; Douglas McCulloh, artist/curator/photographer; Patricia Morton, Associate Professor & Department Chair at UC Riverside; Herman Vincent Moses, PhD., CEO & Principal of VinCate & Associates Museum and Historic Preservation Consultants; Cate Whitmore Moses, Principal of VinCate & Associates Museum and Historic Preservation Consultants; and Susan Straight, Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UC Riverside.
“We are thrilled to have received this grant award from the Getty Foundation,” states Rossi. “Thanks to the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA grant initiative, RAM will be able to present a long-overdue examination of the cultural and design synthesis that resulted in the Spanish Colonial Revival style in the Inland Empire and its relationship to the development of other styles that range from dignified grandeur to kitsch. Architects and designers working in Riverside and San Bernardino counties made momentous contributions to the style's proliferation in California, including perhaps one of the most famous examples: Riverside's Mission Inn. With this grant we hope to be able to bring more focus to the wonderful historic architecture, design, decorative arts, and material culture that once epitomized the region.”
“This project is part of RAM’s strategy to share the architecture and design of our region,” states RAM Executive Director Drew Oberjuerge. “It follows recent exhibitions exploring Julia Morgan’s work and the mid-century design of Riverside’s Auto Mall, the first in the nation.”
“There are such incredible stories to share about our area,” says RAM Board President Bob Kain. “What an opportunity to be part of such a prestigious project. As a practicing architect for over thirty years and a Riverside resident, I strongly believe that the design contributions of the Inland Empire merit a forum to be studied and showcased.”
Carolyn Schutten, the Community Engagement Curator for the Riverside Art Museum, will be conducting original research on the connections between Mexico and Spanish Colonial Revival in Riverside by investigating local histories of labor and materials, as well as the role of Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans in producing Spanish Colonial Revival. Carolyn has a master's degree in urban and regional planning with an emphasis in urban design from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. She also holds a master’s degree in public history with an emphasis in museum curatorship and is a PhD candidate in history at University of California, Riverside, where her research centers on the binational development history of the Tijuana River. Carolyn has curated shows on Latin American artists as well as public history exhibitions. She recently curated Tlahualiles: The Glorious Masks of Sahuayo for the Riverside Art Museum.