Recently the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art announced the acquisition of Judy Baca’s The History of California Archive, which includes more than 350 objects related to the artist’s iconic, monumental work of public art, known to everyone as “The Great Wall of Los Angeles.” Baca began creating in 1978, and the archive traces the development and execution of the half-mile mural, including blueprints, concept drawings, studies, site plans, sketches, notes and correspondence.
The History of California was created in the Tujunga Wash, a flood control channel northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The half-mile-long artwork traces the origin of California, from prehistory through the mid-20th century, and is a dynamic artistic expression of California history and ethnic identity located in the San Fernando Valley.
Baca released the following statement on the museum’s landmark acquisition. “I imagined ‘The Great Wall of Los Angeles’ as a tattoo on the scar where the river once ran; this tattoo would tell the history of California and its overlooked communities in a way that honored and centered them on a scale that has not been done before or since. The process of what it took to create a mural with the youth of Los Angeles, the context in which it took place, and the partnerships forged with community leaders, historians and scholars, is told through the archive,” Baca says.
On Wednesday, April 14 at 5pm, the Lucas Museum will host a free, virtual conversation with Baca, Lucas Museum Director Sandra Jackson-Dumont, and Lucas Museum Chief Curator Pilar Tompkins Rivas. The conversation will discuss Baca’s art practice and her plans to extend and expand her famed mural in the future.