From 1900 through the 1960s, Edward Steichen photographed gowns, buildings, artists, actresses and aircraft characters. Usually the images had an air of seriousness, even if they were melodramatic, like the one of sculptor Auguste Rodin staring at (and posed like) his iconic sculpture The Thinker. Most of the images in the small Steichen show on the third floor of LACMA's Hammer building have that seriousness: artist Constantin Brancusi glowering through heavy eyebrows and unruly beard; actress Lillian Gish looking ethereal. But then there's the ad Steichen did for Simmons mattresses, showing a man in white pajamas amidst white bedding, stretching out his arms and looking infectiously pleased. 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; through Dec. 8. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Aug. 3. Continues through Dec. 8, 2013
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