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Devotion becomes genetic when Words and Ideas presents An Evening With Maira and Alex Kalman. The Kalmans are the guardians of the minimalist folk-art repository of their late mother, Sara Berman — the titular subject of the exhibition “Sara Berman's Closet,” which consists of the preserved remains of her Greenwich Village studio apartment closet. Having pared away the detritus of her marriage and a former life in Tel Aviv, Berman left behind an all-white wardrobe — now an exhibition of ready-mades about which her children hold forth tonight in conversation with Onassis Los Angeles executive director Paul Holdengräber.

Maira Kalman, In the River/My Favorite Things in "Sara Berman's Closet" at the Skirball Cultural Center; Credit: Courtesy of the artist

Maira Kalman, In the River/My Favorite Things in “Sara Berman's Closet” at the Skirball Cultural Center; Credit: Courtesy of the artist

Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; (310) 440-4500, skirball.org; Wed., Jan 23, 8 p.m. (the galleries remain open until the talk begins); $15.

"Sara Berman's Closet" at the Skirball Cultural Center; Credit: Mercie Ghimire

“Sara Berman's Closet” at the Skirball Cultural Center; Credit: Mercie Ghimire