Art: A Flawed Ex-Paradise

Promised land or hell of black insecurity? A vast exhibit evokes California's saga of innocence lost

If the great state of California had never existed, or if it had sundered along the edge of the Rockies and sunk, Atlantis-like, into the Pacific, what would the arts of the world have lost?

Manifestly, one great and incomparable thing that California made its own: the American film industry, in all its splendors and miseries. In architecture and design, a certain amount from Frank Lloyd Wright to Frank Gehry, little of whose best work was actually done in the state; and more from such European exiles as the two Viennese Modernist architects Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler, who took refuge...

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