“Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson” is more than an exhibit — it's a story. Like History Detectives crossed with If These Walls Could Talk (and that episode of The Brady Bunch where Imogene Coca plays Jan's radically fabulous aunt), “Packed in a Trunk” celebrates the remarkable, heretofore unknown talent of Jane Anderson's late aunt Edith, who was committed to an asylum in 1925 for what now appears to be the “insanity” of having been a lesbian, and the bad luck of having hired a crooked lawyer. Her substantial body of sophisticated, late Impressionist-style landscapes, portraits and street scenes are as skillfully rendered as any example from this period in American art. Yet they languished in a West Virginia attic for 40 years until rescued from oblivion by Anderson's trunk-diving mom, who brought them home. Now Anderson and her partner Tess and their son live with the extraordinary collection. But Anderson, an Emmy-winning writer and playwright, is compelled to share both the canvases and the tale with as many people as possible. There's more to the story on the late artist's website, edithlakewilkinson.com, but these gestural, thickly painted and brightly hued canvases are best viewed in person — particularly if you're the first person to do so. L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Advocate & Gochis Galleries, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hlywd.; Tues., Jan. 8, 7-10 p.m.; thru Jan. 21. (323) 860-7325, lagaycenter.org.
Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: Jan. 8. Continues through Jan. 19, 2013
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